Line drawing in black ink on white background of two gooseneck barnacles with eyes, one of them almost abstract.

Feminist or not feminist, that is not the question

People have strange ideas about feminism. Mainly because of the amount of propaganda against it. I write this because often I get asked what I mean by feminism. When I explain I can see that I have just said something that the person hadn’t heard before. I find this very worrying because feminism has been around for a while and my version of it is very normal. Here it goes.

I think women and men are just that, women and men, with more or less hair, each with their own circumstances, intelligent or not, good or bad. But equal in value when we are born, whichever the sex. I think we should value people for who they are and what they do, not because of their gender. The same is true for equally valuing what is considered feminine to what is considered masculine. 

Right now, here in Europe, the values that we call masculine are considered more important than the values that we call feminine. That is because men are considered more important than women. I believe that many physical, mental and spiritual diseases originate in this dismissal of the feminine in both men and women, as it takes harmony away from us all.

Let me give two examples to illustrate this difference in value. The first one, the film industry. In Hollywood, at the beginning, when films were new, experimental and no one made money, there were lots of women producers, directors and creators. But the new technology started making money and became more important. For a long time now, serious endeavours are considered incompatible with women. So they were pushed out and replaced by men, and also deleted from the history of cinema (unless you do a course in feminist cinema, of which there are not many). The second example shows the same phenomenon but in the opposite direction. When a profession gets “feminised”, that is, more women work in it, the profession becomes less important and the salaries drop.

To me these two examples show very clearly that anything considered feminine is not valued. And in reverse, when something is valued, it stops being considered feminine. That is why most women cook, but famous chefs are mainly men. Many women make clothes and all wear them, but most renowned designers are men. The feminine is not considered important and the important is not considered feminine.

With this way of thinking we all lose and a lot of talent is wasted. We get stuck in absurd labels, stereotypes and restrictions when we could be growing as people and adding to the group together.

If we like to proclaim ourselves democratic and civilised we ought to rise to the challenge. To consider a sex inferior or superior to another, apart from being dumb, is outdated and undemocratic. One can’t believe in democracy without being a feminist. I believe in democracy, I consider myself a person of my time, and I think we should value people for what they add, regardless of their sex. Therefore, I am a feminist. I don’t think it is that difficult to understand.