Sometimes people don’t identify as feminists because they think that they’re ‘not feminist enough’. This is an issue that’s really important to address for the future of feminism, and I have a very simple answer to it: you are ‘feminist enough’. Know how I know this? Because there’s no such thing as ‘feminist enough’! Feminism is a very simple concept: if you believe that men and women should be equal, then you are a feminist. You don’t have to be the most educated person on the topic, you don’t have to be a woman, and you don’t have to actually do anything. It’s just a belief.
You can believe in God without regularly attending church. You can be a vegetarian without being a vegan. You can be a feminist without doing anything. There’s no level of feminist know-how to achieve before you can be a feminist, and you definitely don’t have to have all the answers. You don’t have to look a certain way or be any specific gender. Just believing is enough. Why? Because something, anything, that aids feminism – like one more person believing in it – is better than nothing.
To use my earlier example, even just one person not eating meat one day a week is a win for vegetarians. It’s absolutely better than that person just eating meat every day anyway because they think they aren’t ‘vegetarian enough’, or that their actions aren’t important because they’re only once a week. It’s not all in or all out. Participating in some way, any way, is what’s important.
And yes, I know, a belief alone doesn’t feel like anything will come from it, like it’s fruitless. But it isn’t. Statistics, for example, effect change. Perhaps you’ll define yourself as a feminist in a survey sometime. Boom – change. Perhaps you’ll have a conversation with a friend about feminism and what it means – change. Perhaps your actions will change in your own life, and work against sexism – change.
And by all means, if you want to go full-feminist, go for it! Call people out on their sexist actions, volunteer, raise awareness, walk in a march, start a blog… do whatever you want. But please don’t be put off calling yourself a feminist if you don’t want to do any of these things. Just believing in the cause is plenty. There is no such thing as ‘not feminist enough’…