Say Humanism, Not Feminism
I’m not a feminist, I’m really not.
My friends would beg to differ because I seemingly advocate rights and equality for females, but it’s only because women are being vocal about unequal treatment that generations of male-dominated societies have been giving them, et al, so the scales tip in that direction.
I’m not a feminist, if anything, I may be a humanist.
An example— just this week I was asked if it’s difficult being a female entrepreneur. I did not answer immediately because I’ve never thought of my experience as an entrepreneur in connection with being a female. In fact, nothing I do, decide on, or struggle with in my journey is because I’m female. I’m a business owner, a person, a human being, and I never thought of it any other way.
So it got me thinking, is there a difference? Do men experience entrepreneurship differently from females? Do men and women experience anything, for that matter, differently? Am I being just the slightest bit naive in thinking that the struggles of being an entrepreneur are not based on whether we’re male or female, but on other factors such as capability, time management, industry smarts, building a good team, people skills, and so on.
Or am I just way off?
In 2015, the beautiful Meryl Streep was asked, “Are you a feminist?” by a journalist, and to that, she replied, “I am a humanist, I am for nice, easy balance.”
Balance, I like the sound of that word.
We could strive to achieve balance every day, even as we subscribe to gender roles. Yes, gender roles continue to apply, all kinds of roles actually, and we continue to live with them. Nothing wrong in that — we are who we are when we allow people to see us in the ways we portray ourselves — as leaders, lovers, mothers, sons, entrepreneurs, travelers, our identities are tied to what we can do, what we believe in, and what we stand for, not our genders.
In wanting to achieve balance, I see the fight for ‘equality’ manifesting itself in many ways — people trying rid salary ceilings, heavy campaigns against harassment in the workplace, long-drawn out social media debates triggered by ‘rights’ (someone wants to give Frozen’s Elsa a girlfriend) and these are real issues too, but they don’t just happen to women. So then it comes back to whether feminism is still relevant. Inequality, lack of balance, falling into gender roles, these things happen to everyone, anyone, not just women. So there is a need and must for human beings, both women and men, to stand up for themselves more — not just to the other gender, but to people, especially those who say or do things that throw the scale off balance.
As a human being, whether we’re male or female, or any other new genders the world continues to give us, it should be our desire to want to be a good person, be respectful and kind, be responsible and have integrity in our decisions while still experiencing life as the person we are.
Because at the end of the day, we exist in a world of possibilities, of opportunities, and changes, so create a balance, and be that balance.
Don’t be a feminist, be a humanist.