Who’s to say that you’re a “bad” feminist?

I think it’s save to say that an overarching goal of the feminist movement is to eliminate the divisive walls of inequality that separate men and women, and to remove women from their perpetual place of subordination. Although this goal should have the potential to create a bond and understanding between feminists with differing backgrounds and experiences, there appears to be a staunch division between those who are perceived to be “good” and “bad” feminists. This viewpoint, that there are good feminists and bad feminists, is one that I simply cannot support.

I personally conform to many societal stereotypes of femininity, and sometimes portray myself in ways that may lead certain people to believe that I have low self respect, however I wholeheartedly consider myself a feminist. I strongly reject the mindset that there is a  correlation between the way a woman dresses, approaches sex and sexuality, or defines success, and her eligibility to be a “good” feminist. If some feminists are looked down upon by other feminists for engaging in casual sex, or putting their maternal and domestic responsibilities before their careers, then isn’t the entire objective of feminism negated? Feminists strive to provide women with the power and independence to choose how they want to live their lives, but alienate the women who don’t use this power in a way that “good” feminists deem as respectable. By spending more time policing the actions of certain feminists rather than fighting for gender equality, the very walls that feminism aims to demolish are simply rebuilt between women.

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