1. “I’m not a feminist because we already have equality.”
This is not the right place to challenge that claim. The important question is: If you felt that we didn’t have true gender equality throughout the world, would you call yourself a feminist then? If so, it’s doubtful that you would abandon your identification with the feminist movement once you achieved your goal of gender equality. In fact, it would probably be a source of great pride to call yourself a feminist, when feminism is responsible for worldwide equality and happiness.
Even if you believe that we already have equality: If you think that’s a good thing, you’re a feminist.
2. “I’m not a feminist because I’m proud to be a housewife, look after my children and cook and clean.”
Being a housewife, or a stay-at-home parent, are totally valid and admirable life choices, and it’s great that you have the choice to do that. True gender equality means that both men and women have the same life opportunities – both men and women can choose to work in any field, both men and women can choose to look after their household or be stay-at-home parents. If you support the right for all women and men to make the choices that are right for them and their families, you’re a feminist.
3. “I’m not a feminist because I enjoy wearing makeup/looking pretty/being feminine.”
Great! Feminism isn’t about telling you that you need to look a certain way. In fact it’s the opposite of that – giving you the choice to look how you want to look, not because of anyone else’s expectations.
Being feminine isn’t wrong. Being masculine isn’t wrong. Being somewhere in between, or not even on the scale, isn’t wrong. If you want people to be able to express themselves without fear of sexism or oppression, you’re a feminist.
4. “I’m not a feminist because compliments are not rape.”
This is true. Compliments are not harassment, assault or rape. Harassment, assault and rape are not compliments. If you believe that it’s very important to understand the differences between these concepts, you’re a feminist.
5. “I’m not a feminist because women can be abusers and rapists too.”
Does the fact that some women abuse and rape mean that you hate all women and believe that they shouldn’t have equal rights to men? If not, then congratulations, you’re still a feminist!
6. “I’m not a feminist because I love and respect men.”
Being a feminist doesn’t mean that you don’t respect men. It means that you believe men and women should be treated with the same amount of respect – preferably a large amount.
A lot of the ways in which men experience sexism would not exist if women did not experience sexism. Men are encouraged to be tough, masculine, and unemotional, because being seen as having feminine qualities would be wrong. Men are discouraged from taking on caring roles, because that’s a woman’s job. If femininity was not seen as a negative attribute, males would also feel less restricted. If you believe that both men and women should be less restricted by sexism, you’re a feminist.
7. “I’m not a feminist because I don’t feel oppressed.”
If you believe that even though you haven’t experienced sexism or oppression, it’s still not okay for other people to experience sexism or oppression, then you’re a feminist.
8. “I’m not a feminist because I am an egalitarian/equalist/humanist.”
Why not both?
If you are an egalitarian, or a humanist, you probably share the same values as feminism. All of these movements support gender equality, and therefore support each other. If you are part of a movement that believes in all kinds of equality, you support gender equality. Which means – guess what? You’re a feminist.