Claire Martens

I need feminism…

Claire Martens

Claire Martens

By Claire Martens

The Oxford University Student Union’s Women’s Campaign recently took photos of students on the Oxford University campus holding up sign boards which demonstrated why the particular student thought that they needed feminism. I absolutely loved the responses. Go to the campaign’s Facebook to check them out(http://www.facebook.com/womcam). Below are my favourite. Please note that I sometimes placed the sex of the person next to the response in order to give clarity, and not to cast judgement on the person or their sex.

I need feminism…

…because I cannot be trusted to regulate myself any more than the press, the police and financial services can (from a man)

…because I am still scared of dropping feminist as a dirty F-BOMB

Note: this can also be in reference to the idea that the difference between feminism and misandry is still misunderstood.

…because I don’t want to live in a society that trivialises violence against women

…because I was assigned “female at birth” but never completed the required reading (from a transgender)

…because I love my sister, mother, grandmother, aunts, friends, teachersetc

…so I can live in a society where I can be the breadwinner and he can be the primary child-care; if we want (from a woman)

…because it is not okay that my privileges as a man come at everyone else’s expense

…because it shouldn’t be a struggle for equal respect

…so I can be an active participant in my own sex life (from a woman)

…because I knew what was happening and I did nothing (from a man)

…because I will not tolerate subjugation based on the lies about gender differences (from a man)

…because a woman’s place is in the revolution (from a man)

…because it saves lives

…because I have enough on my plate without a side order of patriarchal bullshit (from a woman)

…because I have more to offer than my femininity

…because, growing up, I heard a lot about “safety” and “modesty” and nothing about consent (from a woman)

…because I know people who think that being drunk is an excuse for committing rape

…to help me stand TALL when I feel small (from a woman)

…to change the way men think, not to change the way women act

…because my male friends laughed when I said that I was doing this (from a woman)

…because double standards are no standards at all

…because I shouldn’t see myself as breaking stereotypes when I am only doing what comes naturally to me (from a woman)

…because it is easy to ignore sexism when it works in your favour (from a man)

…because my liberation is bound up with yours, and sometimes I like to be the small spoon (from a man)

…because men are still determining MY productive rights (from a woman)

…because No means No and, sometimes,Yes doesn’t mean Yes

…because when I was assaulted, no one believed me (from a woman)

…because the first time a man in a car called me sexy, I was 12 and I didn’t have the confidence to tell him to,“Fuck off”

…because society teaches us “Don’t get raped”, instead of, “Don’t rape”

…because gender equality is a basic human right

…because no one should need to say that they need feminism

…because I am SICK of victim blaming

…because neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim

…because, when you give people opportunities, they exceed your expectations

…because my masculinity is oppressive and restrictive too (from a man)

…because I want the world to be kind to my girlfriend (from a woman)

…because “lesbian”, “slut” and “fat” are still seen as insults

…because I am tired of feeling unmanly for enjoying my girlfriend’s strap-on (from a man)

…because no ONE thing defines me

…because I want to be ANOTHER rather than OTHER

…because too much of history was written by white, bourgeois, heterosexual, cisgender men like me (from a man)

Cisgendered/cissexual people (from Wikipedia): Kristen Schilt and Laurel Westbrook define cisgender as a label for “individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity.” According to Julia Serano, cissexual is an adjective used in the context of gender issues to describe “people who are not transsexual and who have only ever experienced their mental and physical sexes as being aligned

…because the Patriarchy is not going to fuck itself.

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