These days it seems like we’re all preoccupied with who does and who doesn’t call herself a feminist. It’s become a tricky issue (even though it’s totally simple), but here to make it a whole lot less complicated (even though, again, it really isn’t complex) is artist Katherine Fritz's illustrated guide to feminism. It's so nifty and on point, you might want to print it out and keep it in your back pocket for future reference.
Have you ever found yourself struggling to explain what feminism is and why you do or don’t identify with it? Have you ever said, “I’m a feminist” and then quickly added, “but I don’t hate men and I wear a bra, I mean, except for when I’m sleeping”? We’ve all seen the trend of female celebrities who come out and say “I believe in equal rights for men and women, but no I’m definitely not a feminist.” So what is it about the “F” word that has some ladies (and lots of guys, too) running for the hills, and how can we change that because honestly, it's kind of a drag?
I’ll be the second to say I don’t have all the answers — Katherine was the first (I mean, at least in the context of these illustrations, obviously not the first person ever). She breaks down feminism and its not-so-flattering stereotypes, operating under the simple definition that feminism = advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Sounds simple so far.
So, what is it with feminism?
And when people learn you’re a feminist, they think you’re like this:
Can anyone tell me when and how we came up with the idea that feminist = terrible personal hygiene? Seriously, I’d like to know.
Even though you might not think “waving a burning bra flag” when you think “feminist” anymore, you might imagine a little something like this:
These are obviously just stereotypes because, among many other reasons, not all feminists have short hair (duh), and why would anyone want to burn a bra? There are so much better ways to burn $50, figuratively speaking. Do bras even burn well? These are questions we may never know.
But back to feminism. Katherine thinks that maybe the reason people react to feminism like they just tasted something bad is because they don’t really know what it is. So, just in case you need a quick refresher:
Or, if you don’t like the dictionary definition, maybe you’d prefer this one:
Repeat after me: That's it. I think that’s an idea that everyone should agree with. Surely, we can all agree with the notion of equality, and fairness, right? Right, everybody?!
So even if it is a little overly simplistic, what’s wrong with starting with the simple stuff? We can get to the more complicated stuff further along down the road, but shouldn’t we first come to a consensus on the most fundamental aspect of what feminism is? Don’t you think it’s more important to decide on the foundation before picking out the roof tile? (Can you tell I’m watching HGTV right now?)
So the next time somebody asks you if you're a feminist (and you say yes!), and then asks why you'd want to associate yourself with those bra-burning, Tumblr-trolling man-haters, you can send them this convenient little image guide and serve them with a big ol' heaping plate of knowledge.
And just because this gif is super relevant and I couldn't live with myself if I didn't somehow include it...
Images: Courtesy of Katherine Fritz / WordPress (7) ; Giphy (4)