Feminism is a popularized, yet an extremely sensitive term used over the century. The topic itself is so delicate that people squirm even when trying to explain it to their close friends. Going through premenstrual syndrome is fine, talking about boy crushes is okay – but when it comes to discussing feminism, what do we really say? Is feminism a phenomenon of rebellion or is there more to it than meets the eye? You better have your research papers in front of you before you step into a discussion about feminism.
Below are a few steps you can follow before you exchange views about feminism with your friends and associates. Make sure to include your children in the conversation, as they can only grow into a responsible, educated adults by learning from the best.
1. Know Your Friends
Despite having similar hobbies and tastes, some friends of yours may not have a similar outlook on feminism. Before you start speaking about it, make sure you know what their perspectives are regarding this issue.
Often times, your friends may find something offending while you’re discussing the sensitive issue, and you may lose that friendship for a short amount of time.
On the bright side, bring along your friends who have a positive outlook on feminism, and let them influence your anti-feminist friends gently. When you have a convincing spokesperson, followers will follow naturally.
2. Comfortable Location
The significance of our environment is crucial in influencing and persuasion. Sales experts are quite aware of this.
Having a discussion in a comfortable setting ensures more acceptance from the other person. Although this article is not about changing someone’s mind, it surely will be able to aid in the understanding of controversial topics.
So, invite your friends in the living room or a café and such, pleasantly decorated, so that your friends can take on the discussion with a calm, understanding mind.
3. Clear Misunderstandings
We all bring our background, environment and the conscience of people we have grown up with us on the discussion table. It is okay to not know about something or have flawed ideas about things.
Once the misunderstanding has risen to the surface, it is an opportunity to explain to others about the real implications of things. For example, some people believe that feminism is misandry, which is, in fact not true.
Feminism is a resistance to oppression and injustice, not hate and vengeance. It can be related to trauma and its survivors. Trauma-survivors are taught to face reality head-on and rise above it, instead of giving into hatred and violence.
4. Raise Awareness
Institutions and news run feminism-raising-awareness programs quite often. This is done to educate people about what feminists are all about.
Promoting violence and squabbles are not the goal here. If someone has questions, try to answer them with logical and a calm voice. If they are trying to provoke your sentimentality and ‘femininity’, stay above them. Most likely, those people have no idea what femininity is.
Hence, take this chance to educate them, but with compassion, since there is a good reason behind why the other person is unfamiliar with the concept. It is okay to not know about something, as we are all here to learn and grow.
5. Be Open-minded
The point of this discussion is not ‘conversion’, but ‘awareness’. Hence, just as you can learn new things from other people, they can also learn from you. When the learning exchange is balanced, there is a higher chance of the other people receiving you peacefully.
You have to understand that, even for you, some topics are uncomfortable to take in. In the same way, feminism is also uncomfortable for them to digest and process. It does not mean that you or that person has a shortcoming.
We choose our paths ourselves. Someone else can’t make decisions for us. If other people follow a certain religion, live a specific lifestyle or have a certain sexual preference – can you still make decisions for them?
Believing in feminism is similar – you have to accept that some people are set on their ways and may never change.
6. Stimulate Sisterhood
Undoubtedly the main reason feminism is so misunderstood is due to lack of sisterhood-feeling. Women need their own community to share and belong.
Often considered polar opposites, it is only natural for man and woman to not understand each other fully. Hence, by having your own sisterhood tribe, you will have a place where you can freely be a woman, without any judgment or self-consciousness.
7. Roles Men Can Play
As part of society, men can’t avoid feminism either. You will be exposed to it every step of the way. You may think it is not about you, but you won’t be able to avoid it. So you can take part in this movement voluntarily.
Watching your fellow citizen, family member, friend or neighbor suffer from the lack of feminism in the community can be hurtful even when you’re just witnessing it. When you witness abuse or humiliation of any kind directed to the female gender, demonstrate benchmarks and be the bigger person. Get to know more about feminism and its history.
It’s not about power and control. It’s about human rights, just like the movements surrounding child labor, slavery, racism and so on.
Most importantly, don’t allow your male colleagues, friends, neighbors, or family participate in insulting women and femininity. Educate yourself and others by motivating all to build a better world.
In a Nutshell
So from now on, make more and more female friends. Nurture your femininity by engaging in creative outlets, such as singing, painting, poetry, writing, dancing, cooking, decorating, or even cleaning.
We understand some of you may not necessarily like to do the above. Do what resonates with you and inspires you.
There are a million ways to be creative. Find your own path and keep moving forward. And when you feel down or feel like celebrating till the end of time, you have the assurance of your female community.