If anyone ever addresses me as “Mrs-My-Husband’s-First-Name-Our-Last-Name,” they’re be getting a goddamn earful. And then some. I’m fine with “Mrs-Lastname.” That’s cool. That’s an appropriate title. But the other one? I’m not okay with that. You don’t ever hear men called “Mr-Wife’s-First-Name-Their-Shared-Lastname.” So why should the reverse be appropriate? Oh, right. Because it harkens back to a time when women were considered barely more than property (and in some places, WERE considered property), had no rights, and could not own their own land.
I call myself a feminist – sometimes a “militant feminist” or a “harcore feminist” – when describing myself to others, but I’ve only started doing that in recent years, and it’s not really what I consider myself. I consider myself an equalist, and have since I was a child. But no one knows what that term means, nd I end up giving this lengthy explanation that ends with the listener (if they actually know anything about feminism, rather than just buying into anti-feminist propaganda) saying, “So…you’re a feminist?” So I just use the more commonly accepted term.
Sexism hurts men AND women. Feminism isn’t just about trying to “get more for women.” Feminism is about trying to make sure that everyone has an equal playing field, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, and gender.
Feminism is about making sure that the most fit parent is awarded custody of children in custody disputes – regardless of whether the most fit parent is the mother or the father, and regardless of their sexual orientations or gender identities. Because the idea that women are automatically better caregivers for children is sexist, and is part of the patriarchy. And the idea that individuals of non-hetero or non-cis sexual orientation make poor caregivers is sexist, and also part of the patriarchy.
Feminism is about making sure that female customers are not provided with additional service by male workers – above and beyond the requirements of the workers’ jobs – while male customers are deprived of those services. Because the end result of this form of sexism – which is called “benevolent sexism,” by the way – is that the male customers are deprived of equal service because the female customers are being perceived as being weaker and in need of more assistance. I work in the service industry, and this is something I have repeatedly seen my male coworkers doing. When I see it, I call them out on it, and I explain why it’s a problem. And once I explain it, they tend to change their behavior. Because they’re not bad people, they just exist in a system that has told them they must be “gentlemanly” – but only to women.
Many sexist acts hang their hat on terms like those – “gentleman,” “chivalrous,” “treating the lady properly.” For a better explanation, read this article, which talks about benevolent sexism and how it impacts both men and women. Things like this are why I am a feminist, and why I will be one up until the moment I die.