How to Talk to Others About Feminism
Not everyone understands what feminism is all about. So it's not out of the question to imagine that you might find yourself explaining to someone else
– a friend, family member, colleague, partner – what feminism is and why it matters to you. Here are a few ideas for how to do this quickly and effectively:
- Share this website. Shameless self-promotion? Perhaps. But we've spent a lot of time here trying to help folks consider the various
ways they can take feminist action. We've even got a page specifically devoted to defining “What is Feminism?” So feel free to share our links.
- Offer a simple definition. We've got some longer, more complex definitions available over on our “What is Feminism?” page but, sometimes, you just want a simple explanation. Try something like this: “it's believing that people who identify as women and girls deserve
equal rights and equal access to opportunities.” Or “that everyone is deserving of rights and opportunities, regardless of their gender identity.”
Feel free to cobble together your own choice of words, whatever feels most natural to you and best explains why *you* care about feminism.
- Share a scenario. Sometimes people hear what you're saying but still can't quite wrap their minds around what it means in a real world
context. So consider sharing a real world scenario to lock it in. Take the gender wage gap, for example. Share the current statistics on what the wage gap looks like for women overall, then break it down a bit further and share what it looks like for women of color, for LGBTQIA
folks, for people with disabilities. Ask them if they think this is fair (hopefully the answer is no!) Then explain how folks who believe in feminism
are fighting for greater equality and equity, seeking to end disparities and discriminations like the wage gap. Hopefully these examples will help
them connect the dots between a philosophical idea and real world actions on the ground.
- Ask them what *they* think feminism means. It might be easier to hear what they think it means and then help to gently correct or
amend what they've heard rather than to start from scratch. Be prepared though that some people have strong opinions based on wrong data informing
their opinions. You might want to prepare for this conversation by reading up on how others have defined feminism so that you can counter falsehoods as you hear them.
Here are a few articles on the topic to peruse as well: