Thursday, March 30, 2017

Why Marisa Kabas, Elizabeth Bruenig, Ivanka Trump, and Other 'Unwelcomed' Feminists will Save Feminism

By TaraElla

Marisa Kabas, Elizabeth Bruenig, and Ivanka Trump have all been made to feel unwelcome in feminist circles, despite being feminists themselves. Marisa Kabas, because she supports Israel. (I am personally neutral on this issue, as an East Asian it is inappropriate for me to take any stance, I believe.) Elizabeth Bruenig, because she is pro-life. And Ivanka Trump, because of her father.

The idea that feminist circles can make certain feminists feel unwelcome is quite ridiculous. The marriage equality movement certainly doesn't make supporters of marriage equality unwelcome, no matter what their other affiliations are. Same for the environmentalist movement. In fact, these movements practically celebrate conservatives who break ranks to support them. People passionate about marriage equality or the environment join those movements, and find mutual support in them. In feminism? That's not always the case, as the aforementioned people found out.

Feminism is very unfriendly to its 'outcasts', compared to other movements. Yet as these 'outcasts' refuse to stay quiet, and continue to speak up, it makes people think. Already, questions are being asked as to why feminism must be so unfriendly to people with certain views that have nothing to do with gender equality itself. After all, environmentalism doesn't demand its adherents support women's issues, and still functions quite well. Similarly, the marriage equality movement doesn't demand its adherents believe in climate change, and still has had many successes. In fact, the focus on the issue at hand and the inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds is what makes those movements strong. Why should feminism be any different?

We are on the verge of a strong feminist moment. But if we let feminism be hijacked by other issues, it will just lose relevance and die out.