“When feminism becomes mainstream, this is great, as long as it includes sisterhood and is not women’s power defined by someone else’s agenda.” Angela D. Coleman, Founder, Sisterhood Agenda
#1: Worshiping Idols
Calling oneself a feminist is a self-identifying label. It does not have to be true and there is almost an implicit dare to challenge it. If feminism is part of your belief system, what behavior is consistent with it?
Media adds to the confusion-what is their agenda? Celebrities are calling themselves feminists. Maybe a famous entertainer inspires your feminism. Do your research. Look for the missing link-sisterhood-unity of thought and action for the benefit of all women, that defines feminist behavior.
Feminism is not a “me” endeavor. It’s an “us” thing. Feminism is not just about you and your crew-it applies to ALL women. If you cannot get along with, work with, or stop competing with other women, calling yourself a feminist is laughable. These mainstream “feminists” are laughing all the way to the bank-see #2: The Commercialization of Women’s Empowerment.
#2: The Commercialization of Women’s Empowerment
Have you ever been tricked into attending a conference, reading a book, or buying a product because it was supposed to be about women’s empowerment, only to go home disillusioned and broke, deflated from the false promise of uplifting yourself and other women? Been there. Done that. No more.
Empowerment is supposed to be radical and revolutionary! Feminism and women’s empowerment often require actions by women that are not mainstream.
“Feminism is not status quo.”
As a woman, empowerment cannot be bought or sold. It is earned with consciousness in thought and action.
Companies realize that women like to be empowered. Choose your events and those who inspire you wisely. Is your inspiration a product of objectification? See #3: Acceptance of Objectification.
#3: Acceptance of Objectification
Is it necessary to present yourself as a sexual object in order to succeed in a patriarchal society? Maybe it’s not required, but it seems to help.
“Where is the line between owning our sexuality and letting others exploit it?”
Most celebrities are brands (celebs think of themselves this way nowadays), which means they have several bosses that they must answer to on a regular basis. On top of that, it’s difficult to demand equal pay after you have already played your part in their game for so long.
Feminism counters patriarchy. If one’s career path is built on a patriarchal system that objectifies and oppresses women and it is not (at least) balanced with equal or more time dedicated toward more feminist pursuits that benefit women, it is a serious conflict of interest that cannot be ignored. Speaking of pursuits, see #4.
#4: Lack of Unity in Purpose & Action
What good does being a feminist do if your reality exists in the bubble of your own imagination? If we are not united in our efforts, we fail. If we talk great rhetoric and do nothing after we speak, we fail.
In order for feminists (or any group striving to make the world a better place) to be effective, we must be organized. To be organized requires unity in our purposes, goals, and objectives. To do otherwise is a failure in leadership.
If we are defining ourselves as feminists, many of us need to heal first. The healing journey gives us the capacity overcome our personal issues to love ourselves and be sisters; to put women first and uplift each other for the common good. Our sisterhood actions will reflect this agenda.
“The spirit of sisterhood is a powerful force for positive social change.”
#5: General Confusion
Is feminism about gender equality, equal rights, equal pay, violence against women, reproductive rights, women in technology, women in business, women in the military, women’s health, transgender rights, or what?! Yes, yes, and yes.
Feminism is a fluid movement that changes. Younger generations of women are redefining the movement to suit their needs and those of their peers. This is expected and even required for the feminist movement to stay relevant.
Yet, if we have different women who are influencing masses of people and they are not on the same page about their declarations of feminism, the movement is scattered and the masses are confused. Without #4: Unity in Purpose, women are scattered around attempting to make local impacts, serving limited geographical areas with limited resources.
If you identify as a feminist, what does being a feminist mean to you? Is it time to unite around a central cause or central theme? Think SISTERHOOD!