Feminism is a pretty loaded topic, but it’s also a an awesome concept —because, well, don’t you like being able to vote? To drive? To go outside without a male escort? To choose your own partners? To get an education so you’re able to read this very sentence? To earn your own money (or at least have the opportunity to pick your own rich man or woman to leech from)? That’s all made possible by feminism, even though some women, for some strange reason, want to deny that. And oddly enough, the very right that makes it possible for them to express themselves and renounce feminism was brought to you by—you guessed it—feminism.
That being said, there are actually many different forms of feminism: Sex-positive, womanist, New Age, liberal, Libertarian, Marxist, Post-Modern, and a slew of other types of feminism, some of which are specifically geared toward different cultures, ethnicities, and nationalities. While all feminists are different, here are a few things that just about all of us can agree on.
1. The first rule of feminism? Knowing what it means.
It has nothing to do with hating men or hairy armpits, unless, of course, that’s your thing to begin with.
2. A feminist can look any way he or she damn well pleases.
Preach, Marina Diamandis.
3. A feminist understands that while society has come a long way …
4. … we still have a long way to go, even with a female presidential contender.
5. A feminist understands that our country was founded by rich, white, male land owners who looked after the interests of, well, rich, white, male land owners.
6. A feminist knows that equal rights aren’t trendy, they’re integral.
7. A feminist can be in a loving, respectful, consensual relationship with a man (or woman or or cardboard cutout) if she wants…
8. … and if she doesn’t? Who cares?
9. Feminists look for ways to even the playing field and create opportunities for all genders, starting at a young age.
10. Feminists understand how annoying catcalling is.
Ugh. Please put an end to this repulsive behavior.
11. Feminists are well aware that women kick some serious ass.
12. Feminists understand the struggles of the workplace …
13. … and feminists take it into their own hands to change perceptions.
14. Feminists support other women and encourage them to be better …
15. … and practice what they preach.
C’mon, Taylor Swift. We know you and your #squad can do better than this Katy Perry beef. Look to the Spice Girls and Ruth Bader Ginsburg for help.
16. Feminists use their platforms for good.
Patricia Arquette’s amazing Oscar speech moved the likes of J. Lo and Meryl Streep!
17. Feminists know that their sex lives are no one else’s business.
Seriously, slut shaming isn’t just detrimental to the cause, it’s also just really lame.
18. Feminists know that what a woman decides to do with her own life is her own choice.
Who are we to judge?
19. Feminists aren’t afraid to call one another to action.
20. Feminists are well aware that women don’t have to be sugar, spice and everything nice is they don’t feel like it.
Seriously, why the f*ck can’t we say bad words? Suck it, Huckabee.
21. Feminists know that their struggles aren’t unique, and that many women have a harder time than women do stateside—and do what they can to help promote global gender equality.
22. Feminists know that you can have a penis and still be a feminist.
It’s true. You don’t have to be a lady to show women everywhere the respect and dignity they deserve.
Seriously. Equal human rights = a better world.
Preach it, Prince Harry!
And you, too, Elijah Mikaelson.
So, ladies and gentlemen, what sorts of feminist values do you uphold in your everyday life? Do you embrace feminism or does the word make you uncomfortable? Let’s chat it out in the comments!