I’m not one of those ‘burn your bra’ feminists

I’m not one of those ‘burn your bra’ type feminists. You know the type that is in your face about important issues. The type that tries to get your attention on matters like breast feeding in public, ‘asking’ for rape, affordable day care for young children, legalisation of abortion clinics and how important industries like engineering and politics are heavily male dominant. No I’m not one of those pioneering women who change the world.

I’m more like one of those feminists that shares tidy pictures on Facebook regarding unequal pay differences between men and women (not saying this isn’t important.) The kind that thinks things shouldn’t be the way they are but never actually does anything about it – or worse – never backs the bra burning ‘extremists’ when they turn to me for strength and numbers.

I’m the type of feminist that rides the wave of inequality in a public environment (but obviously not in a confronting or obstructive way that may upset anyone especially the people that oppress me) and reaps the benefits of what my extremist brothers and sisters slave to achieve after constant battling and fighting and bra burning.

I’m the kind of feminist that doesn’t even know what the word feminist means.

If you as a woman or a man don’t have the audacity to drop the “I’m not a bra burning” prelude to the word feminist you are the enemy. You take the form of all those who get away with paying ME less. Get away with telling ME I can’t breastfeed my children in public because it’s ‘offensive.’ You stand on the side of all those who put every effort into making abortion illegal because you know what is best for my unborn child in my current circumstance.

You stand for keeping 80% of the world’s political power in the hands of men. You silence the victims of violent homes in Afghanistan. You tell Saudi women they can’t operate a car on the road. You drive the 50% wage gap between women of colour and men. AND YOU TAX MY TAMPONS!

It’s not your fault for being distracted by the sensationalism of bra burning in the 1960’s. It’s a pretty big thing to forget! But it is your fault for being blinded by the stigma that all feminists are extremists who burn bras for attention. You have allowed the sensationalization of one incident totally skew your idea of what it is to be a feminist.

Did you know that many feminists didn’t actually burn their bras in the 1960’s? Most women took less exciting but equally effective measures. They showed up to rallies, turned off Miss America, stopped wearing heels, took out their curlers and applied for male dominant roles even though they KNEW they wouldn’t get the job. All these lesser extremes were still equally effective in demanding equality, because that’s what they were after. The steps they took weren’t the message. The message was WE ARE EQUAL.

When you say that one sentence, ‘I’m not one of those bra burning feminists’ you pigeon hole the concept of feminism. You take away from feminists – past and present – who believe in equality for all. If you are a woman, don’t you understand that all these feminist actions are done for you? We burn this once real but now proverbial bra for you!

My point is, think about what is means to be a feminist. Think about how saying ‘I’m not one of those bra burning feminists’ creates a divide amongst a group of people who should be UNITED in their quest. There are no ‘bra burning’ feminists. There are just feminists who burned their bras.

Don’t shoehorn one movement and dilute the power of feminism in today’s modern world by not standing behind those fighting for your freedom + equality. Drop the act and drop the bra burning phrase because it doesn’t fly anymore. You’re either with us or against us.
You can’t be both.

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