My Definition of Feminism

Feminism gets a bad reputation. People who don’t quite understand what it is associate feminism with something aggressive and exclusive: women-only and we-hate-men kind of vibes. While it’s really not that. Everybody has a different definition and here’s mine.

On Saturday I was folding our laundry while my boyfriend was making the most delicious bolognese sauce for dinner (I’m one lucky girl, seriously). And suddenly I got that moment that everybody loves: I got the best idea for something that I’ve been thinking of for a while! I was so excited that I ran into the kitchen holding one of his t-shirts – I needed to tell him about it immediately.

Going back into the room I was giggling saying: “Oh the ideas that I get when folding your shirts!”

“Don’t say that to other feminists” – jokingly responded he.

But that got me thinking: is it unfeminist of me to fold his laundry? If it’s my choice? While he is making us dinner?

Nope, it’s not.

 

You do you

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines feminism as: “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes”. It’s about equality and it’s about women doing whatever they want to do – without the society or any individual pressuring them into it.

So that means that if I was doing the laundry because the society wants me to or because my boyfriend has made me do it, that would be “unfeminist” (woah I’ve just discovered that people actually use this word). But if it’s my own choice and if we don’t have set or unfairly distributed roles in the household, it’s just me doing laundry. Because I want to.

Be yourself, be weird, be you

I think feminism is when a woman is confident to make her own choices. It doesn’t mean that you have to be one extreme or the other: you decide whether you want to wear makeup or not, you decide how to dress and how to behave. And if you want thing today it doesn’t mean that it will be unfeminist of you to change your mind tomorrow. You do you.

Some days I really don’t care and some days I want to dress up, spend hours doing my makeup and hair – all while listening to cheesy music and drinking prosecco.  And that’s fine. Some days I want to call myself a domestic goddess and some days (like today) I really don’t feel like doing anything in the house. And that’s OK – in fact more than just that: these things can co-exist within you and shape the different dimensions of your unique personality.

 

Dear society, stop projecting your ideas onto me

All people deserve the right to express themselves and decide what they want for themselves – and that’s why I have a problem with people who tell me I’ll be a great mother/wife. What if I don’t want to get married or have children? Or even if I do, you probably don’t know me, so please stop projecting those conservative societal “norms”.

And especially having grown up in Russia which still has a long way to go in terms of what the society expects from women. One Russian guy who wanted to take me out on a date in June and I blew him off saying that I’ll be only back in Russia in August asked me if I was going to lose some weight by then. No joke. Well he never heard from me again and that was the extent of my dating experience with Russian men.

Family is of course another sensitive topic in Russia: “woman’s role is to procreate” – the amount of times I’ve heard that phrase saying that I’m wasting my life not having had children yet is scary. If you’re facing the same situation, here’s my tip: say that you’re too selfish – works like a charm!

 

But back to feminism

I believe that women are unique in their tastes, behaviours and life choices – which means that by my definition there’s no right or wrong way of being feminist. It’s not a category, it’s a spectrum. Everyone should be able to do whatever they want to and not to be judged for their choices. That should be the societal norm.

What do you think about the subject? What is your definition of feminism?

<the blonde>

3 Comments

  1. Hyunjin
    April 24, 2018 / 9:42 am

    Wow! This is the most peaceful and complete definition of feminism.
    I’ve talked to several feminist friends and some of them were having kind of an aggressive position and some of them were more peaceful and patient explaining what feminism is. Although there are a lot of aggressive feminists, I believe that there are peaceful and patient feminists! I agree and support the idea of women and men having equal rights and to not be dictated on how to live, because each and everyone of us have our own opinions and our own lifestyle, plus, working in an environment where men and women are working equally and getting paid equally is awesome!
    Thanks Codingblonde for your awesome post! 😀

  2. April 24, 2018 / 8:58 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! This is exactly what I had been swirling around in my head after I wrote a post last week on my new blog about recognizing what a bad feminist I had been in my STEM career to date. I didn’t articulate the value of choice quite so clearly BUT that is exactly what I was getting at as well!

    Check it out if you get a chance I would really love to get your thoughts ❤️ https://unconventionalbasics.com/2018/04/17/recovering-bad-feminist/

  3. April 26, 2018 / 2:05 am

    Hi,
    First of all let’s just say it was a great post, and I completely agree with your definition of feminism.
    I think the angle that you looked at the feminism is the closest one I’ve ever heared to the concepts that are included in religions like Islam. The equality of men and women is an ideal concept that Islam is spreading to the world. Of course there is no way a man and a woman can be equals, don’t get me wrong, they should be able to choose their own path, but what I mean is that there is no way I would accept the logic of women working in a mine, the same way I cannot accept the logic that a man can be a better kindergarten teacher than women (generally speaking). There are differences between women and men, and they are only complete when they are together.

    Even as a man if the definition of the feminism is this then even I could say I’m a Feminist. But the problem as you mentioned is with people who are more aggressive and often confuse feminism with concepts like free will without consequences.
    As a programmer I guess the Feminism abstract class itself is good, but the problem is that the classes that implement Feminism class are usually tend to go beyond the definition and try to have the kind of freedom that is completely wrong.
    The feminism itself is good, but the people who follow the concept are usually go beyond the the definition and make the world think that the whole idea of the feminism is wrong.

    At the end I agree with your definition but still I don’t undrestand why would you say that you don’t like people saying that you would be a great mother. I would be happy if anyone said to me that you would be a great father. there is nothing wrong with the concept. Yes you may don’t want kids and that’s your choice and there is nothing wrong with that and when I say someone you’ll be a great father, I mean it like this: you’ll be a great father if you ever become one.
    I can accept your concern if the person saying you’ll be a grat mother is expecting you to become a mother. I think that the idea of expecting someone to be someone they didn’t decide is wrong.

    I think the feminism world needs more people like you than it needs aggressive feminists.
    thanks for writing this post.

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