Lean Wherever, Whenever: another stream of consciousness

April 1, 2014

I just read this article about how women need to get married and run a household – that this is how to make women happy.

I know this is a common belief, but, I mean…it’s April 1st. This is a pretty extreme point of view for an opinion column.

My biggest issue with this article – and most articles, magazines, and blogs for that matter – is that it defines feminism as one-sided.

Let me go back to an experience I had while studying International Human Rights law in Cairo. It was my favorite class in human rights studies I’ve taken because of the true diversity in the group. Don’t get me wrong – Peter Lucas was one of my favorite professors at NYU, and I’ve kept all of the books, handouts, and notes I took from his classes. The makeup, however, of the class was pretty much the same. Everyone agreed, for the most part, what innate human rights were, and what we are guaranteed as global citizens.

But while studying International Human Rights Law in Cairo as opposed to theory in an NYU classroom was completely different. There were a descent number of students from the US, but there was at least one student from every continent in the class. And when the topic of women’s rights came up, I remember one student saying he didn’t want to say his piece because he was afraid of the backlash. He truly believed that women and men have separate roles, and women do not need to be guaranteed certain rights.

This is extremely crucial to understanding the development and execution of international human rights policies.

Which brings me back to my issue with one-sided feminism: it’s not black and white. All kinds of people believe they fight for women’s rights, even though they don’t agree on what those rights are, or what it means. Some believe feminism is about fighting for equality. Some believe feminism is about fighting for the well-being of the greater good. Some believe feminism is for women. Some believe feminism is about moving forward. Some believe feminism is about preserving the past.

There will always be differing opinions of what feminism is; however, you shouldn’t hate on feminism as a whole because you don’t agree with one group of feminists. Just find your own brand.