Universal equality

I’ve always considered myself a feminist.  That said, lately my concept of feminism has been growing to the point that ‘feminism’ both says too much and too little about what I truly believe. As I’ve become more interested and aware of the various social justice movements at work, it has become easier to see the commonalities between them.  Since feminism is sort of at the center of my interests, they’ve come to be under that umbrella for me, but since all social justice movements have melded into one in my mind, I’m not sure it really fits any more.

I said that feminism conveys both too much and too little of my ideology.  Here’s what I mean:

  • It conveys too little because I see all social justice movements as one.  Not only women’s rights, but anti-racism campaigns, gay rights, neurodiversity…you can finish that list however you want. Many people see feminism as being just about the rights and needs of women, but that definition does not come close to how i see feminism these days.
  • It conveys too much because when you bring the different movements down to their essential parts, they come down to one things: we are people before anything else. I’m white, female, straight, cis-sexual, but before any of those I am me. While all of those descriptors have their place and are useful, when you’re dealing with an individual none of them really matter. And that’s because we are all unique. I am not the same person as the white, straight, cis-sexual woman sitting next to me. We may have nothing in common besides those four things.

We all have different characteristics and roles attached to us.  Aside from the above, I’m also a wife, student, gamer, daughter, aunt, and many more things than are worth listing.  None of those covers all of me, and talking to me as being in those roles misses that.

I can sum this up in one word–respect. Respect who I am as an individual. Respect my differences, my preferences, my strengths and weaknesses. And I will respect yours.

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