So yeah, I’m not a femanist
Feminism – or for the men out there, fe-man-ism – is an ideology based on the belief that men and women are fundamentally equal and should have access to equal opportunities. It’s a wacky idea, but for the majority of my life (with the exception of my rebellious early 20s) I’ve considered myself a feminist. Until now.
This week I came to the shocking realisation that I’m not. It was hard news to take, not just because I was made to feel a fool, not only because I’ll now have to get new bumper stickers, but ultimately because I had received this news from Matt Damon (yes, the Matt Damon) and Duncan Garner (yes, the Duncan Garner).
In the past couple of weeks, as more allegations of sexual abuse have surfaced about Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood men have started to speak out. As part of the chorus, Damon released a statement admonishing the abuse and mentioning that, since he has four daughters, he was in a place to really understand just how bad it was.
We have to protect ‘‘…our sisters and our daughters and our mothers’’, he said.
The conch call must have been heard far and wide, because in our very own Land of the Long White Cloud, Garner made a similar statement, declaring on The AM Show ‘‘I’m a feminist because I have two daughters’’.
And so, I learned from these two A-list stars that I did not meet the fundamental requirement for being a feminist/caring about sexual assault – which, it would appear, is having a daughter.
Sure, I’m a woman, but I don’t have daughters or a wife. I do have a mother, but I wouldn’t dare speak on her behalf. I’m not sure if being a woman is sufficient to meet the criteria? It certainly doesn’t seem to fit the rule of thumb, which I think is that that you must be the parent or partner of one. Though, in all honesty, once I started to examine this logic in detail I began to see its flaws.
Imagine if the requirement of feminism were having a daughter. It would be the only civil rights movement to be actively bad for the environment, as all aspirational feminists would be forced to bear children and add to our overpopulation.
Fe-man-istas, the crusading Matt Damon and, above right, Duncan Garner.