What makes a feminist in 2020?
We asked feminists all over the world to share their views on what we think are some of the crucial questions that we should be debating right now. The feminist movement is broad, diverse and sometimes divided. Is that a good or a bad thing? Please, share your opinion with us and your fellow feminists.
CAN YOU BE A FEMINIST AND DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM POLITICS?
No, because the patriarchy is highly political and will not be abolished without engaging with politics. ‘Feminists’ who claim to be apolitical are still being political by leaving the status quo unchallenged.
As a feminist you don’t need to be actively political. Politics is not everyone’s thing. Most importantly feminists need to be inclusive in their own lives and live by their ideals in their own lives. However, you can’t ignore what’s going on in the world and should at least be aware of political issues, even if joining protests or volunteering are not possible for you.
No, really the personal is political. I absolutely advocate taking breaks when you need to because feeling overwhelmed leads to no progress, but at the same time balancing it with a sense of duty towards what you COULD get done or who you could influence to act further.
For people who distance themselves from politics or say they don’t care to pay attention, they can get away with this because they won’t be affected in the first instance when/if legislation changes for the worse.
Feminism can’t just be about sloganed t-shirts and superficial self-care (says she as she gets ready to do a sheet mask), as capitalist-feminism would like us to believe. Feminism is an ideology and life-practice that requires understanding of how policies could be altered to make society and the economy fairer, cleaner and more just, and then a drive to help them move in that direction.
Yes, because in politics it can often be harder to choose what or who is right/ wrong. Politics are all about compromising and at times I find that confusing. Nevertheless, I have my opinion about how women should be seen and treated in our society.
As feminism is based on the fact that things aren’t great right now and they could be made better by changing the way we think, act and interact, it is an ideology that concerns itself with both society and individual ways of thinking, so is inherently political.
I personally don’t understand how you could. Feminism is a political issue, first and foremost. The earliest roots of feminism lie in suffrage. If you completely distance yourself from politics all the time then your feminism can only cover the most basic, surface-level topics and therefore isn’t worth all that much.
I find the notion that one could ever distance oneself from politics highly interesting. Stating such a thing is already a political statement with political consequences. I would simply argue that no-one can distance themselves from politics. So, no, you can’t be a feminist and distance yourself from politics because I don’t see that anyone could ever effectively distance themselves from politics.
I think feminism is a politics, and a political stance.
Illustration by Hannah Wolny