Guest post by Omar Al-Kamil

Hi guys!
I’m Omar and I’m writing to share my perspective on feminism. I think I’ll start by giving my stance on the issue by saying that I am a feminist, and I’m proud to be. I also think, however, that feminism is a dream and regretfully I don’t feel like it will ever be a reality. There are a few reasons for this which I’m going to explore; I just really hope that one day I’ll be proved wrong.

So the first thing I’m going to talk about is a misrepresentation and misunderstanding as to what feminism really is. Livii and Eleanor wrote in one of their first articles on this topic- “It is important to us that we don’t come across as ‘man haters’”. I think this is one of the biggest problems with feminism as people tend to see us as ‘man haters’. Going to an all-boys school I can reaffirm that this is often the case. Without naming names, there have been numerous examples where a girl has stood up for herself, or for a friend, against derogatory/sexist comments from a guy and the guy has simply dismissed the comment as coming from a ‘feminist’ source. The most infuriating thing, being both a man and a feminist, is to see people not care about a serious issue which people are so passionately trying to correct.

The next thing I’m going to talk about is this whole idea of ‘neo-feminism.’ I’ll be honest I haven’t spoken to many feminists about this so I don’t know if I’m treading on dangerous waters or not. Personally I think that neo-feminism ruins the feminist movement. It’s hard to take the whole issue seriously, when there are a few people who are pushing forward such a statement. In effect, it’s as bad as people saying that feminist is a bad idea, both sides are advocating gender inequality in the end. A common example people use to demonstrate neo-feminism, is stripping. Some feminists argue (so the internet tells me), that stripping is empowering to females and it gives them the opportunity to express their sexual liberty. Although I fully support liberties, I feel like I’d fall into the class of people who think that this is just degrading to women and undermines the image of feminism.

The last point I’m going to raise is the name ‘feminism’, and the problem with the word feminism being the pro-female connotations which it burdens. The reason why I see this as an issue, is  because it saddens me that the whole idea of the campaign is to bring females up to the same level of men. I’d prefer simply a name which supports just equality, maybe something as simple as ‘equalitism’. I feel that with a unisex name like that, it’s a more positive approach, simply looking to make everyone equal. The whole approach is the same, but I feel a non-gender specific approach will be more widely received. Although with that said, I doubt anyone’s going to change the name anytime soon.

So those are just some of my opinions on feminism. Speaking from a guy’s perspective, I hope I’m wrong and that one day the notion that gender equality didn’t exist is ridiculous, but until that day I hope that everyone keeps up the spirit of such a good campaign.

Lastly I’d like to say thanks to Livii and Eleanor for letting me write my opinions here.

Omar Al-Kamil

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