You may consider yourself a feminist. In fact, I hope that you do. However, sometimes being a feminist means being alone in a crowd full of people. For instance, do your family know about feminism? Do they know that you are a card-carrying-feminist?
If they do not know about feminism then it’s your time to tell them about it. However, it may seem like a daunting task. How do you go about talking to your friends and your family about feminism? Where do you start?
Here’s a list of ways that I think that you can begin to open up this type of dialogue:
1. Start at the beginning.
What is feminism? You should start by telling your family the definition of feminism. This is how The Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word: “n. feminism – the movement to win political, economic, and social equality for women.” That is the true heart of feminism. Many people may think that feminist have an agenda. Perhaps these people think that feminists are all political-liberals. Perhaps these people think that feminists need to look or that they need to behave a certain way. That is not the case. Many different types of people can be a feminist.
2. Talk about feminism from your perspective.
This is the time to tell your family about your own experience with feminism. Perhaps you are a feminist because your ambition is to be a doctor and you have faced prejudice at school. Perhaps you are a feminist because you English teacher rolls his eyes at every girl that raises her hand in class. Perhaps you are a feminist because someone has cat-called you while you walked down the street with your friends. Everyone’s experience with feminism is varied and is different. What’s your story?
3. Ask your family about their feminist or anti-feminist experiences.
Now is the time to talk to your family about their own life experiences. Perhaps your family faced experiences of feminism or of anti-feminism at some point in their lives; however, perhaps they have not entirely processed the situation until your conversation with them. Was your mother a part of the women’s liberation movement in the 1960’s? Did you father have an experience with a loud-mouthed man who verbally degraded women? Your parents have probably faced issues of sexism at some point. You can now take this time to discuss those situations with them.
4. Check-out the documentary that is named, “Missrepresentation.”
“Missrepresentation” is a documentary that I think encapsulates feminism and the reason why people need to think like a feminists in today’s world. You should check-out the documentary with your family. The documentary talks about how the media shapes the hearts and the minds of young women today. It talks about how popular culture makes women view themselves as nothing but a “piece-of-meat” or as a person whose only worth comes from her own body. “Missrepresentation” is a hard-hitting, an interesting and an informative documentary. You should check-it-out with them. You can even have a conversation with your family about the documentary once you finished watching it.
You can check-out the trailer for the documentary named “Missrepresentation” above. Here is a link to DVD of the documentary.
5. Finally, you can introduce your family to feminist literature.
There are many different types of feminist books that are out there. These books can help you to understand feminism in a different way. Two books that I think are great books to read about feminism are: “Bad Feminist” and “The Feminist Fight Club.” “Bad Feminist” is a book written by the author who is named Roxane Gay. “The Feminist Fight Club” is a book written by the author who is named Jessica Bennett. The book that is named “Bad Feminist” and the book that is named “The Feminist Fight Club” are great books that I think can help people to understand feminism in a more thorough way.
Feminism is an important philosophy that you can share with the people that you love. If you introduce your family to feminism then they can better understand the world… and if you open up the dialogue with your family then maybe you will learn something from them, too. Remember, we know the world better than them.