I am a feminist.
There, I said it.
Because of the negative connotations the term has gathered over the years, every time I tell someone I am a feminist I am asked: “Why do you hate men?”
Well, let me address this question and other myths:
My dictionary coins the term “feminism” to be “the movement for social, political and economic equality of men and women.”
As the book “Manifesta” by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards points out, the term ‘women’ encompasses white, black, Asian, rich, poor, straight and lesbian women.
Feminists want these groups of women all to have the same rights as men. We want to have equal pay for equal work, protection from domestic violence and the ability to fight on the front line in times of war.
If a draft were ever to be reinstated, yes, I would expect to be out on the front line. And if I have to be there, I want to shoot stuff.
I do not hate men; it is just annoying and degrading to be treated like a sex object or June Cleaver. I do not want to be expected to cook dinner or take care of other household chores.
Women in today’s world are in the workplace, and we want men to help out with chores because, guess what, we have hard days, too.
Men, my advice to you is to realize that buying us a drink doesn't mean we are going to put out. Ask us intelligent questions and listen to what we say in response. Also, buying the product does not guarantee beautiful women will flock to you.
Indeed, it does not help our cause when advertisers treat us as sex objects to sell their products, creating the image that all women are sexually available.
Another more recent myth about feminists is that we only voted for Hillary Clinton because she is the proud owner of a vagina. The fact that a woman was finally stepping up and running for a male-dominated position was a huge step for women.
However, I was pro-Hillary because I felt she had great views on education, immigration, women’s rights, etc. It was her views that made her worthy of being president, not her vagina.
On that thought, I should point out what feminism is not.
One misconception is that feminists hate stay-at-home moms. They do not. The movement is about the ability to choose your lifestyle — and if a woman chooses to stay home and care for her family, then more power to her.
The lack of sexuality is another misconception. I wear makeup and heels and like to feel just as sexy as everyone else. Some ladies simply choose not to dress up, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t sexual beings.
It is important to know that we feminists are not plotting our domination over men. We just want to be your equals. Respect our voice and make us dinner for a change.
Ladies, embrace your independence and realize you do not need a man to validate you.
Correction: The sentence in this article should have read "Men, my advice to you is to realize that buying us a drink doesn't mean we are going to put out."
Natasha is trying to think of a bonding activity for women that doesn’t include bra-burning. E-mail her suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org