An Open Letter To Any Woman Who Claims She Is #NotAFeminist

I’ve always been a passionate person. In everything. However, I have never claimed to know everything. I have never marched in a rally for civil rights or been a woman who cannot vote.

But it always confused me how people think that feminism should not exist.

By saying you are #NotAFeminist, you are essentially closing your eyes to every woman who yelled and screamed for you to be able to have a job if you wanted to, or to be able to say no to your spouse if you ever felt the need, or to be able to stand tall and be proud to be a female. You are pretending history does not exist. You are refusing to listen to rape statistics for both males and females.

You are refusing to acknowledge that gender inequality does still exist.

Every time a woman brags about “not being like the other girls”, I shudder. You may simply think #NotAFeminist is a cute hashtag to use on your Twitter page, but what you don’t realize is you are choosing to be blind to the inequality that used to and still does surround us. You are deeming it acceptable for there to be continuous double standards.

Feminism has acquired a bad reputation over the years, but that is only the surface of the issue. People have this issue with women being proud of themselves, fighting for themselves, drawing attention to their own issues. Women are supposed to be passive. So therefore, a whole movement which basically screams: “HEY! WE’RE HERE TOO AND WE DEMAND EQUALITY OF THE SEXES!” probably makes some people uncomfortable.

Simply saying the words “I am a feminist” makes people uncomfortable. It makes them scoff or roll their eyes or sigh. It makes whatever I say next totally not worth listening to. Just because I choose to be passionate about something. Saying that I have applied for a Gender Studies minor in university immediately prompts: “Oh, hmm. Feminist.” And then some slight chuckling before they turn away, no longer interested in any of my other traits or passions. Let me tell you right now, that that is what is rude.

My being a feminist does not make me a joke or somebody to ridicule. It does not devalue what I say.

Using the hashtag “NotAFeminist” simply indicates you have refused to do any research whatsoever.

Instead, you decide to sit in your Western society house, with your internet connection and type the hashtag at the end of a completely irrelevant tweet, a huge grin on your face as you hit the “Post” button. Using the hashtag NotAFeminist does not make you someone who recognizes the greater struggles other women are having in other parts of the world. It simply spits in the face of the people who made our Western society where it is today, instead of letting it fall to become one of the “other cultures” anti-feminists are always saying have the “real problems.”

Slut-shaming is a real thing, people. So is the fact that being called a “girl” makes a little boy feel completely ashamed of himself. Every single woman and man who has fought for our equality and our rights in the past would most likely stand up again, and still see problems. Because no society is a perfect society. Why is there a hashtag that proclaims women who consider themselves feminists are men haters, ignorant, annoying, something not to be lumped into? Something to declare to the world that; “no, I am not one of those”.

I will tell you why, lady who probably still thinks feminism means not wearing a dress, ever, who believes I disrespect everything with a penis.

Because feminism still does not exist enough. That’s why. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


More From Thought Catalog