With the election quickly approaching, I’ve been posting plenty of political articles on my facebook page. But to my surprise, many of my followers are either completely disinterested in politics, or are actively offended that someone like me would find them important.
Almost invariably, any time I post something regarding election politics, someone jumps in and says,
“Why are you discussing politics on this page? What does the election have to do with feminism?!?!”
And I’m all,
“BAAAAA haa haa. Oh, that’s hilarious.
Oh wait… YOU’RE SERIOUS?!?! Holy shit.”
Okay, this is really simple. This might actually be one of the simplest explanations to a defensive question I’ve ever had to unpack for people on my page. It goes like this:
If it weren’t for feminists, you wouldn’t even have the right to vote.
Ergo, how can feminism NOT be political?
Make no mistake, these voting rights weren’t given to us after a few polite requests. Women in the US fought for over 100 years to secure the right to cast their vote. They were arrested and jailed, beaten and tortured, simply for wanting to have a say in politics. Who were the women who sacrificed their lives for this cause? They were feminists.
If that simple logic isn’t enough then ask the Feminist Majority Foundation what they think feminism means. They say:
“Feminism (is) the policy, practice or advocacy of political, economic, and social equality for women.”
I think that makes it pretty clear.
But perhaps the folks who were complaining about my political posts weren’t really so bothered by the fact that they were political. Their feathers were probably more ruffled over the candidate I’m supporting, which happens to be our incumbent President. I’m not here to tell anyone who to vote for, but considering just how anti-feminist the Romney/Ryan ticket is, it certainly does baffle me that anyone hanging around a feminist page could admit to voting for him.
Consider his record:
He thinks gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry.
He thinks gay people shouldn’t have children.
He thinks women shouldn’t have control over their body.
He thinks 47% of the country take no responsibility for their lives, which probably includes YOU, even though you may not realize it.
His running mate has just as much experience faking assistance for the poor in the name of political gain.
He successfully avoided paying his fair share of taxes through creative accounting, but doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with that. As long as you’re rich. If you’re poor and don’t pay taxes, you’re “taking no responsibility for your life.”
As a feminist who subscribes to the fundamental principles of feminism (which is, basically, wanting humane and equal treatment for ALL people) his opinions and positions offend me. So, ya know, that’s why I think he shouldn’t be President of the United States and stuff. I would think that wouldn’t be too difficult to understand and, at the very least, shouldn’t shock the people who follow my page. But my facebook followers never cease to amaze me.
For the record, I think Obama has done the best job possible with the mess he was given. It took the last Republican Administration eight years to dig us a trillion dollar deficit. I would expect it to take us at least that long to recover.
So, let’s just recap:
Feminism is political. Feminists are often progressive. When people vote for rich white tax-evading men who admit to disliking poor people or gay people and lie about hiring women, I will call their feminist politics into question.