Week Woman

A Pox on the Patriarchy

Feminist Check-List – What Do You Believe?

- Caroline Criado-Perez

1. Do you believe men and women are equal? rosie_riveter

2. Do you believe women have the right to self-determination?

3. Do you believe women have the right to the same access to education as men?

4. Do you believe women should not be barred from professions just because they are women?

5. Do you believe in equal compensation for equal work?

6. Do you believe a woman should not be discriminated against because she might in the distant future want to get married and have children, particularly when a man is just as likely to want to do the same?

7. Do you believe women should be judged on their abilities rather than their looks?

8. Do you believe that women should not be held in contempt for expressing the same emotions and/or behaviours as men?

9. Do you believe that women should not have to suffer from a sexual double-standard?

10. Do you believe that women should not be chronically under-diagnosed because medicine still uses men as the default universal?

11. Do you believe that a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants and not expect to get judged for it?

12. Do you believe a woman should be able to walk down a street without being expected, at the threat of verbal or physical abuse, to smile and/or flirt with any man who happens to be passing?

13. Do you believe women should not be raped?

14. Do you believe that if a women is raped, her rapist(s) should be brought to justice, without any reference to her clothes or demeanour?

15. Do you believe that caring about all these things does not mean that you hate men and/or think that they have no problems?

If you answered no to these questions, congratulations: in all likelihood you are not a feminist.

If you answered yes to them though and are still reluctant to call yourself a feminist because you think we’re too loud, too angry, too ranty, too judgey, just too bloody feminist.

Well.

It’s time you joined us anyway.

Being a feminist doesn’t mean you have to agree with all methods employed by all feminists all of the time. It doesn’t even mean you have to agree with all feminists all of the time. You be who you want to be, act how you want to act, do what you want to do to achieve the equality we’re still lacking. But call yourself a feminist, because you are one anyway. And, united, we really are stronger.

33 comments on “Feminist Check-List – What Do You Believe?

  1. Pingback: Bechdel Test/Where are all the women? | BOOK SAGAS: TEACHING YOUNG WOMEN ABOUT GENDERED LOVE AND FEMINISM

  2. M
    June 2, 2013

    I love this! And superb points katestanton!! I have known feminism and felt ‘feminist’ from before I could put it into words. It saddens me when women not only run from but vilify the very thought or idea of it – testimony as it is to the insidiousness of the patriarchy. Yes it is a label, but what it is a label for will never cease to be important. Claim, proclaim, wear, act and be it with pride. Nothing upsets me more than the negative stigma attached to what some believe feminism to be. It’s not scary for us to covet a world where we are all equal as fellow human beings and not so unnecessarily divided solely based on gender. I guess it is for some!

    I will never stop fighting for this cause. I will never again let myself be silenced by another for what I believe in – I think as feminists we’ve all been there. I will not “suck it up” and swallow everything I instinctively, emotionally, critically and intellectually feel is wrong just to fit in with “the rest of the world” or “the times”, as I have been told to on many an occasion by – to be honest – several (but certainly not all!) of the men in my life.

    I feel so deeply about so many social issues. Detractors often say, but what about this minority or that minority, what makes feminism more important than them? Feminism affects every minority, there are women in most minorities, we’re talking about half the population of the world as well as of course the whole population of men that feminism also affects, i.e. all men.

  3. r2drivenimpala
    March 2, 2013

    Reblogged this on r2drivenimpala's Blog.

  4. Guls
    January 21, 2013

    Reblogged this on musicbugsandgender and commented:
    Pithy and pertinent post from Week Woman. I write a lot about current affairs issues around gender and I’m inevitably informed by feminist discourse on the subject. One of the features of feminist thought that is so refreshing is its endless variety, in contrast to the conservative politics I grew up with: there are many feminisms and much lively – and occasionally vicious – debate on a multiplicity of subjects: education and employment opportunities; self-determination; violence; reproduction; homosexuality and lesbianism; gender stereotypes and their portrayal in media; rape culture; marriage; eating disorders … and on and on.
    So it’s interesting to reflect on core values and what various commentators and activists have in common.
    It’s interesting that one poster – Yvonne Aburrow – brings up intersectionality: it’s increasingly foregrounded in modern political discourse and is certainly a key consideration – read: bone of contention – in the ongoing and recently-newsworthy RadFem/Trans stand-off I’ve been reporting on.
    Check it out – do you score 15 out of 15 (or even 19 out of 19)?

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  7. ihiccupalot
    January 12, 2013

    Reblogged this on ihiccupalot and commented:
    The F-word.
    What does it really mean?

  8. systemsthinkingforgirls
    January 11, 2013

    Reblogged this on systemsthinkingforgirls and commented:
    Excellent post from Week Woman to snare unsuspecting feminists! I like numbers 2 – 15 on the checklist. Great conclusion too. I wonder what the ‘equal’ means in the first question – ‘Do you believe men and women are equal?’? If it means, ‘do women have the same privileges, status and rights as men?’, then the answer is ‘no, not yet’. If it means ‘do you believe women and men have the same inherent value?’ then the answer is yes. I looked up the definition of the word equal but that didn’t help because the word equal has different meanings. It did make me think that if you weighed ALL women and All men on giant scales, they wouldn’t be equal. But I don’t think that is very helpful. The author must mean that women and men have inherent worth because further down she says ‘to achieve the equality we’re still lacking’. So, actually equal but not treated equally. Then. Phew, I’m pleased I worked that out.

  9. HelRobinson
    January 11, 2013

    Great list! Out of interest just wondering why you felt the need to qualify 6. with ‘particularly when a man is just as likely to want to do the same?’ ?

    • Week Woman
      January 12, 2013

      Thanks :) I qualified number 6 because I wanted to highlight the ludicrously sexist situation whereby women are discriminated against for having children, when children are just as much the responsibility of the men who father them as the women who mother them.

      • HelRobinson
        January 18, 2013

        I thought that might be it. I guess for me it would be more powerful without the qualification because it is something that people don’t necessarily think of when they think about being a feminist so it would force some people to sit up and think about why it was included. But I can also see that this could lead to it being not understood, which of course would defy the point! Anyways thanks for responding. Take care.

  10. AL
    January 11, 2013

    11. Do you believe that a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants and not expect to get judged for it?

    Sorry, but no. Cue protest. Women (and men) need to have an awareness of how their behaviour and appearance affect other people. Showing vast expanses of naked flesh is sexually arousing to the opposite sex. This is biological programming. Imagine if a fit and beautiful young guy came to work every day in just a thong – you’d find it hard to concentrate on his political oplnions, and might assume he was more liberal-minded than his colleagues.

    Now what you can help is your behaviour, so sexual assault is always the wrong response. But the internal conflict resolves itself in a negative judgement. There’s no way scanty clothing is a justification for rape, and I stress that, as a rape victim myself, but judgement is always going to be attached to skimpy clothing unless our society becomes naturist.

    I am a woman and I answer yes to all the other questions – am I still a feminist?

    • Week Woman
      January 12, 2013

      I think you are confusing “sexually arousing” with “judgment”. You can be sexually aroused without assuming that is was the intention of the wearer to arouse you – and therein lies the judgment. Your sexual arousal has nothing to do with judgment – sexual arousal is about you; judgment is about the person you perceive. Finally, you say that judgment is always going to be attached to skimpy clothing unless our society becomes naturist. That may be so, but it still reveals that the judgment is a result of society and is therefore an unfair imposition of society upon the individual. And I am a little more optimistic than you – I think we just need to smash patriarchy rather than wander around nude in the freezing cold for this to be achieved :)

  11. beirutbeats
    January 11, 2013

    I answered yes to all but one of these.

    ‘Do you believe that a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants and not expect to get judged for it?’

    – If I saw a woman walking down the street with a shaved head, DM boots, drainy jeans and a swastika t shirt, I would judge her to be a Nazi.

    – If I saw a woman walking down the street with black face and white lips and a minstrel costume, I would judge her to be a racist.

    – If I saw a woman walking down the street wearing a Justin Bieber T shirt, I would judge her to be a fan of Justin Bieber (possibly worse than the above).

    In all cases I would judge a man in exactly the same way.

    Since feminism is about equality, does this actually make me more a feminist than you?

    • Week Woman
      January 12, 2013

      nope – does make you a bit judgmental tho! You cannot presume that clothes maketh the woman (or man). All those judgments are unsubstantiated. Couldn’t the Bieber t-shirt wearer be taking the piss? Couldn’t the person wearing the minstrel costume be an actor who is taking part in an educational anti-racist street-performance? Context is all. You might *judge* these people, just as the commenter below does, but your judgment may very well say very little about the person you are judging and quite a lot about you.

    • Littletitch
      January 12, 2013

      Also, take away the Swastika in the first example and you have a punk or a ska fan. Shaved heads, Doc Martens and drainpipes have little to do with the Nazi party.

      • beirutbeats
        January 16, 2013

        That is why I specifically mentioned the Nazi T shirt.

        If you search Neo Nazi and some of the other key words mentioned here you will find some nice photographs of the above description. I have seen people dressed like this with my own eyes.

        If you prefer, we could illustrate my point equally well by removing the words ‘Swastika’ and replacing the word ‘Nazi’ with ‘punk or ska fan’.

        You yourself have admitted that this clothing is associated with ska and punk fans and so you have made a judgement about what they stand for.

        Point 11 is incorrect and has nothing to do with feminism. It is failed logic.

  12. katestanton
    January 11, 2013

    Might be worth adding that feminism mean men and boys also having the same opportunities as women, ie: to cry, to look after their health, to want to stay at home to raise their children, to order half a pint without being laughed out of the pub, to like pink, to like flowers, to wear the clothes they want to wear, make-up if they wish, to want to be nursery teachers, to not like porn, blah, blah, blah.
    Patriarchy negatively affects us all, and while it’s been a lot more profitable for men in general, what we really want is equality for humans, based on nothing more than their being humans.
    I’m a woman by the way, in case that matters.

  13. DoRo
    January 11, 2013

    Unfortunately, “feminist” seems to have become a label with negative connotations…and being a feminist in no way should be confused with hating men…maybe some people think that feminist=lesbian(and by that view meaning if you chose to love a woman you reject/hate men), a stupid misconception. I think saying yes to all of your points should be the rights of every woman, human being! Good post!!!

  14. Chris
    January 11, 2013

    Also, it’s simplistic to advocate for feminism on its own. Feminism without socialism is nothing.

    • Adam @Zeeblebum
      January 12, 2013

      Why is feminism nothing without socialism? What about the other way around? There are plenty of people (particularly men) who identify as left-wing/socialist who recently have been doggedly misogynist in the supposedly left-wing views that they have been espousing. For those people, I prescribe a strong dose of feminism. And I will be happy to pay for them to have “My socialism will be feminist or it will be bullshit” tattooed on a body part of their choice.

  15. Chris
    January 11, 2013

    “7. Do you believe women should be judged on their abilities rather than their looks?”

    Nope. I believe everyone should be judged on both. Our abilities are an inherent, predetermined part of us in the same way as our looks. You may think you can choose your abilities, but you cannot. Deep down, none of us chooses anything.

    “13. Do you believe women should not be raped?”

    No one believes the contrary, so this one is unnecessary.

    • Week Woman
      January 11, 2013

      I’m afraid that’s rather simplistic – otherwise why do rapists rape? Why did the Delhi gang-rape happen? Why have I been told I deserve to be raped for being a feminist? Your comment comes from an enviable place of privileged ignorance. Not your fault, but now you know, I hope you’ll think again before making such a comfortable assertion.

    • katestanton
      January 11, 2013

      I see your point re: 7, and agree that none of us chooses our looks or abilities – though we can choose how we use either – but that surely is a reason to discount both, not judge on both. (In terms of treatment of people, not specific roles assigned).
      Saying no one believes women should be raped is sadly naive. A great deal of men and women do, unfortunately. Just read a couple of newspapers or websites and you’ll probably see this is the case.

  16. thenotsoquietfeminist
    January 11, 2013

    Reblogged this on The not so quiet feminist. and commented:
    Not sure if you identify as a feminist? Answer yes to these questions, and you are! If not, what are you doing on a feminist blog?

  17. Lorraine
    January 10, 2013

    I’ve always been a feminist and proud to be and to continue to be. I don’t hate men but I have a radar that makes me cringe when something is glaringly wrong or makes me feel uncomfortable. I did have an abusive partner whose mission was to try and break me, yes, there are some weird men out there that are threatened by strong women, but he didn’t, no-one could. Proud to fly the feminist flag now & till the day I die. :)

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  19. greenandginger
    January 10, 2013

    Yes!

  20. tocksin
    January 10, 2013

    I believe a man can adopt a feminist stand, and release himself of of his born obligation into the false morality of being a stereotypical male, and unite with woman to be more than what his gender has assigned, and to discover new ways of being that maybe even woman have yet to discover in themselves and everyone moving forward towards a hospitable goal of forged unions of commonality.

    • Adam @Zeeblebum
      January 10, 2013

      Hi Tocksin

      What you’re saying sounds interesting, but I don’t understand it. Any chance you’d be willing to explain it again in a different way? Thanks.

      Adam

  21. I said yes to all those questions, but want to add…

    Are you a third-wave feminist?

    16. Do you think that there are various forms of oppression and we all need to stand up to all of them? (And not try to munge them all into one vague hand-wavy thing, but analyse their different causes and effects.)

    17. Do you believe that different forms of privilege and oppression intersect to form a pattern in which sometimes we have privilege and sometimes we don’t?

    18. Do you believe that patriarchy is not necessarily perpetuated by all men?

    19. Are you an ally for other oppressed groups (PoC, trans* people, people with disabilities, etc)?

    • Asta
      January 11, 2013

      I would like to see intersectionality applied to all equal rights movements – not just feminism but LGBT rights too as that seems to focus on gay white males a lot. I’d like to see it also focus on black, Asian and disabled LGBT people too. Yet feminism is often the only movement that is asked to be intersectional. I know plenty of gay men who are passionate advocates of gay rights yet do not care about feminism.

  22. MarinaS (@marstrina)
    January 10, 2013

    Love it! Especially the last paragraph: the whole history of the world is fights & disagreements among men. If feminists can’t have a good ole barney once in a while, what’s liberation for?? :)

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