Lately, I've been getting into a lot of discussions with people surrounding the question, What is the biggest challenge you face in furthering your cause? Something I've found interesting about these discussions is that nearly every other cause besides feminism cites the issue, People not believing in my issue. (i.e. Global warming isn't real, Animals don't deserve as many rights as people, Sweatshops aren't that bad, etc.)
In my experience with feminism, it is infrequent that I encounter someone who blatantly comes out and says Women don't deserve equal rights as men. Sure, I meet people all of the time who don't understand how something is sexist or offensive. As a whole, however, I don't routinely come across people who explicitly tout women as less than men. (I do meet them sometimes though! Hello asshole boy on my dorm floor!)
Weirdly, the biggest struggle that I face when talking to people about feminism is feminism itself. Some sample lines from conversations about feminism:
- Feminists are militant.
- Feminists just whine about things.
- Feminists are overly sensitive.
- I support equal rights, but I'd never say I'm a feminist.
- GOD YOU DON'T HAVE TO TURN EVERYTHING INTO A FEMINIST ISSUE
and of course, my favorite:
- Shutup bitch.
It is really irritating that feminism has to face this extra issue on top of issues of sexism, homophobia, injustice, etc. I feel like it's indicative of the problem though. When people discount my opinion because I am a feminist, it really just reinforces the fact that there is still work to be done.
Sorry if this was sort of a downer. Just ruminating on the movement itself lately. Here's a pic of a cool feminist dude to counteract any negative vibes: