In How to Be a Woman, Caitlin Moran talks about feminism. What was it, and what has it become?
To be frank, I am not that interested right now in the history of the women’s rights movement. It is an important topic, and at some point I would like to read a book about it and learn about the women who fought for equality. At some point I want to learn the names and the personalities of these important people, what schools they went to and what they did as feminists.
But not right now.
Right now, I know that I recently became an “adult” in a world where I am still not equal to the men around me. Women don’t have equal pay for equal work, and old white men are legislating about what we can and can’t do with our bodies. This is not right. Don’t tell me about how we gained the right to vote in 1920. Tell me what I can do on this day, in this moment, to get one step closer to equality.
I like Moran’s chapter on feminism. She reminds me of the disappointing fact that many women don’t want to be identified as a feminist. It has become a dirty, rebellious, embarrassing word.
And that is bad. Why are we so obsessed with the historical connotation of this word? It seems simple to me:
I don’t have equal rights because I am a woman.
I want equal rights.
Therefore I am, inarguably, a feminist.