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Ask a Raging Feminist: #MyFeminismIs complicated for many women

Most of us have a good handle on the general idea of what feminism is. But beyond the large scope, what does feminism mean to the individual? We asked a handful of Raging Feminists to tell us what their feminism looks like.

#MyFeminismIs is the Ms. Foundation’s new campaign, meant to “paint a broad, inclusive and intersectional picture of feminism as we continue to challenge and change the conversation around equal rights.” So, naturally we wanted to know:

Tell us how you answer what #MyFeminismIs.

#MyFeminismIs a world in which both women and men can be and do what they choose. Whether that’s a dad staying home with kids, or a mom working long hours, or how that plays into hiring people to take over the extras at home. That requires us to remove a lot of guilt and expectation and pressure from what men and women do. It requires us to move away from traditional roles and instead just let us make choices as they are right for us. And it requires us to remove value judgment from what is considered worthy and valuable. The only obstacle is getting over our preconceived notions of what is supposed to be.” — Leigh Shulman

#MyFeminismIs constant, imperfect, angry, intersectional, aspirational.” — Chanel Dubofsky

Feminism is the ‘-ism’ to end all ‘-isms.’ Feminism, when practiced correctly, is the social justice movement that encompasses gender/racial/economic equality, combats homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia… the list goes on. Feminism is/should be a wonderful intersectional umbrella that recognizes that we can’t have true gender equality without confronting these other ‘-phobias’ and ‘-isms.'” — Allison Smartt

More: #HowToSpotAFeminist tweets show people still don’t understand feminism

#MyFeminismIs, at its root, a movement that attempts to let all voices be heard and to give everyone a seat at the table. My feminism is a movement that includes a multitude of voices, all working toward the same goal. My feminism is equality across lines of gender, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. My feminism is for everyone. It fights for everyone. Every day.” — Seraphina Ferraro

#MyFeminismIs about working for real equality. This means speaking up on issues of equality around gender, race and sexual orientation. It means having space as a lesbian to speak for my family. And most importantly, it means shutting the f*** up and listening when women of color or trans women have something to say… listening and amplifying their voices. My feminism is about speaking up for equality, but not pretending that when I speak that I can speak for everyone.” — Amanda Deibert

#MyFeminismIs equal pay for equal work; liberty and justice for all people of every color, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation; and the wisdom of women lighting the way for a better world, one respected human being at a time, all the time.” — Mayim Bialik

#MyFeminismIs teen parent inclusive and centers their experiences as experts and capable individuals.” — Gloria Malone

More: 13 Books to nurture a young feminist

#MyFeminismIs listening to the people who are facing the problems and supporting them as they figure out what’s best for them. My feminism is doing its best to be non-prescriptive. My feminism recognizes that though not everyone faces the same challenges I do, there is always a way I can support and lift up, whether through re-boosting, reposting, sharing, amplifying or donating time and money.” — Normandie Wilson

#MyFeminismIs intersectional. It cannot celebrate justice for one woman unless it advances justice for all of us. My feminism does not care how many women are in the boardroom, when the women that clean that boardroom work for meager wages and cannot even countenance the demands for pay parity of celebrities and CEOs. My feminism centers racial justice, and sidelines white fragility. My feminism puts honoring the rights of trans women above honoring the biases of our foremothers. My feminism celebrates each hard-won advance, but will not stop until the entire system is torn down, and a new and better one is built in its place.” — Margaret Corvid

#MyFeminismIs empathetic. It is first and foremost, intersectional and multilayered. It holds a place for a myriad of voices and perspectives. It’s growing and broadening as my understanding of the challenges facing non-cis white men expands. My feminism is about boosting signals of voices that are not mine, and shouting truths that are.” — Asha Rajan

#MyFeminismIs not just about what we think, it’s about what we do. My feminism is about actively working toward the world we hope to see: a world in which the threat of violence isn’t a daily part of women’s lives; sexuality and gender presentation/identity aren’t policed but celebrated in their many forms; women have access to all the financial and medical support we need to decide what kinds of families we want to cultivate; all workers earn a living wage, and people with disabilities and others unable to work have the economic support needed to live healthy lives; and racial and gender discrimination no longer function to hold women and people of color back in education, business, politics, science, media, the arts, or anywhere else. For starters!

As fellow media activist Jamia Wilson and I co-wrote in “10 Ways Feminism Improves Your Life,” #MyFeminismIs both a philosophy and an action. It “recognizes that ‘Woman”‘means many things, and that sexism and misogyny play out differently across race, class, sexual orientation, age, immigration status, and physical ability, among other identities. At its best, the feminism we both believe in and practice acknowledges that there can be no advancement for any marginalized group without the active pursuit of justice for all.” — Jennifer Pozner
Jennifer Pozner for Ms. Foundation
Image: Ms. Foundation

More: Ask a Raging Feminist: Is the male feminist real or simply a unicorn?

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