Alright folks, I’m sure we’ve all heard about women who don’t identify as feminists. I’m sure we’ve read the articles where women criticize feminism and the entire feminist movement. I recently found an interview with actress Evangeline Lilly where she was asked what she thought about feminism. She said:
“I’m very proud of being a woman, and as a woman, I don’t even like the word feminism because when I hear that word, I associate it with women trying to pretend to be men and I’m not interested in trying to pretend to be a man. I don’t want to embrace manhood, I want to embrace my womanhood.”
This irks me in SO many ways. Over the years, the feminist movement has taken on many negative stereotypes. I do agree that there are different types of feminism as well as different approaches to furthering the feminist movement. Some are more aggressive than others. However, quite a few people only seem to see the aggressive, man-hating, or in Evangeline Lilly’s case, the male wannabe version. This is what bothers me.
With most controversial topics, the more negative side of the story gets the most attention. Feminism is a great example. (But before I say anything, I should clarify that I do believe everyone has a right to their own belief system and a right to their own opinion, even if I completely disagree.) In Evangeline Lilly’s case, she believes that feminism is women wanting to be men. She probably grew up hearing those messages about feminism and experiencing certain situations that only molded that opinion even more. This is where I come in. Of course we all have preconceived ideas about things. Once we have an experience with that thing, we create our own opinion about it. But our job as evolved human beings is to stay open minded.
Open mindedness might be one of the hardest challenges of the human existence. Nobody is willing to stay open to every new idea, belief, or opinion that pops up. Except for maybe Buddha and the Dalai Lama (which is exactly why they’re my role models).
However, when a controversial topic like feminism is presented, I think we should open our ears and hear what else is out there. If this happened more often, I believe more people would be able to see the positive side to feminism. Evangeline Lilly said “I don’t want to embrace manhood. I want to embrace my womanhood.” I’m sorry, but that’s basically the entire idea behind feminism. Embracing our womanhood.
She doesn’t identify as a feminist, yet her beliefs are the basis of feminism. This completely boggles me. The only explanation I can think of as to why her belief about feminism is so mixed is her upbringing and personal experiences. But like I said above, all it takes is the will to expand your mind, open your ears, and hear what else is out there. This simple act is revolutionary in itself.
So basically, just because someone doesn’t identify the same way you do doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It just means they are a totally different person. However, the only way we are going to truly connect with each other and support each other is to open our minds to other beliefs, ideas, and opinions. Hang loose and rock on.