Many people struggle with their family not understanding feminism. My own feminist mom is a person who refuses to say that she is a feminist.
Just a quick history lesson. The People's Republic of China is founded and ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. With that being said, China’s feminists move and evolve in a hostile environment.
In America, not only has social media helped push this new wave of feminism, but also spread knowledge about feminism and empowerment. However, this is not the case in China. There have been actions put spread the #metoo movement, but because of Chinese censorship and a lack of understanding about feminism, many people do not know enough to consider themselves as feminist.
My mom being one.
Recently, I asked my mom whether she thinks she's a feminist. And she said no.
So then I asked her a series of questions and she answered them.
Q: "Do you believe women should have equal rights?"
Q: "Do you think women should have the freedom of choice."
Q: "Do you want me and Vicky (my younger sister) to feel confident and comfortable in our own body?"
A: "I always want the best for you guys"
Q: "How would you feel if me and Vicky are brilliant, capable, and independent but cannot get the job we want because we are girls?"
A: "Well~ that's stupid. You guys should do whatever you guys want, especially because you guys have the ability."
Q: "And how would you feel if people tell us how to dress, act, do?"
A: "Depends on what you are doing and where you are. But quite frankly, it's really none of their business!"
Q: "So what if the "people" is society?"
A: "I don't know… We really can't change that, but I would if I could."
The truth is, my mom IS a FEMINIST.
She breaks gender expectations, as she is our family's primary income earner.
She owns her own business. She's told me multiple times that a lot of times at business dinners she would be the only women and the only times where there would be a lot of women are the times her business partners brought their wives.
She believes that girls should be independent and confident.
She believes that women should have equal rights.
She believes that women should have the freedom of choice.
She believes in the body positive movement and empowerment.
She believes that women should be judged on ability and not on gender.
She believes that women should do whatever they want that makes them happy.
She believes that change is necessary (she says we can't change that but we can).
I told my mom that what she said to me is what feminism is all about. After explaining what the modern feminism embodies, I asked her again whether she considers herself as a feminist
And she said, "Yes."
My mom's outdated way of thinking is being slowly washed out by the new, modern wave of feminism. Although she may still have outdated beliefs and sometimes stereotypes of gender roles, she, like society, is gradually catching up to the new era of womanhood.
Think about that when you do not consider yourself a feminist. Do you have the same answers my mom had?
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Author: Vivian Yang
Vivian is probably the most extra person you will ever meet. She loves everything fashion, beauty, and feminism. She is a major Potterhead and loves everything Harry Potter related. She is a proud Hufflepuff meaning she values hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play. If you can't find her, she is probably wandering in Manhattan.