Anonymous. 23. Birthplace: X. Currently: Germany. Not Religious. Music. Student (Communications, Management).
What does the concept/word “feminism” mean to you? What does the concept of equality mean to you?
Based on what I’ve heard, feminism means equal rights.
What do you think is the most pressing struggle for women today? What is the most crucial aspect in your eyes?
The most pressing struggle for women depends on the society. For the country where I’m coming from, the problem is that women aren’t taken seriously sometimes.
Is feminism a subject you think about? Have you ever read a book or seen a documentary about feminist issues?
Feminism isn’t a subject I think about often.
Why do you identify as a feminist and how/when did you learn about it? What were you taught about women growing up?
My parents always tried to act or think in a way to show that me and my sisters (and all women) are equal. I grew up in a country that is an Islamic State and I am sure you know that Islam doesn’t have these equal rights. I was taught differently in school about women until the age of 17, but my parents always tried to show me that what they tell me at school is not always right. I saw my two sisters struggle with certain things: My older sister always had problems in school because they had to wear hijab (that’s what you call it here) and she didn’t really like it. She was always mad that boys get more and she didn’t get as much as they did. She always had fights in school, outside school, with my parents, with everybody. I wouldn’t say that it was because of anything related to feminism, but my mother didn’t let my younger sister go out whenever she wanted because she was always afraid that something might happen to her. My sister always related this to: “My brother can go out when he wants but I can’t.”
Is feminism empowering for men? If so, how? How does feminism differ for you?
In a way, feminism is disempowering for men but it doesn’t really matter. There are other things that people should be caring and worrying about. In the long term feminism isn’t empowering for men, in the short term it is maybe, because take Germany for example: Something happened 20 years ago and they want to show that they are not those people anymore, so they take it one step further. If two people apply for a job where one is a woman and one is a man and they have the same qualifications, I think right now the woman is more likely to get the job. In some companies this happens because managers want to show that they don’t see genders differently. So in the short term, companies are imposing this quota and that can be disempowering for men.
Why do you think the word “feminist” is associated with such a negative stigma? What do you think it connotes? How do you think it could change?
I used to think the word feminism meant being against men and people might think negatively about the term because schools don’t teach it properly or might specifically teach the wrong thing. By educating people the negative stigma could be changed. The world is moving towards that direction, so things will be changed in the future.
This post was originally published on the author’s Tumblr and is republished here with her permission.
Photo credit: Deryne Keretic