Feminism is the grey between the black and white

By Claire Martens

Feminism is not just about the ability to say “yes” and “no”; it is also about “maybes”, “I-don’t-knows” and “sometimes”. It is not just about absolute power and powerlessness; it is also about small victories every day. It is not just about equality and inequality; it is also about the hope that drives our transformation.

Feminism is not a black and white concept, because feminists are not black and white people. They are multifaceted women and men who have accepted that sexuality and gender are social constructs and that labels will never truly define who they are. Feminists are not just gay men, butch women and activists; they are also those people who escape sexual persecution, who run from domestic violence, who stand up for their mothers, who raise their ten grandchildren or who shout “fuck you” to the world.

Feminism can be found in everyone. There is no uniform, no secret organisation and no code of conduct in order to be a feminist. It is not a boundary which limits, but a force that pushes you. Feminism is not just about strength, righteousness and power; it’s also about silent femininity, softly spoken words of love and quiet flexibility. Feminism is more than those mothers, sisters and lovers who are warriors for words, who speak of more and who demand the most of this life; they are also those men who recognised how empty their lives would be without the women that fill them.

All around the world, there are small actions which take us further from the black and closer to the grey. Each small action has ramifications of decency, independent thought, self-respect and absolute growth which we cannot predict or comprehend. Feminism is found in the small victories of every day; in the use of a condom, in the matriculation of one more girl child, in the cure of cervical cancer, in the right to abortions, in the advancement of human rights.

There is beauty in my grey; it has allowed me to be here, cocooned in the security of being loved and loving, writing of feelings and thoughts, free from persecution, judgment or condemnation. Let us spread this beauty.


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