What you need to know

Some people think that feminism means that women want to be equal to men. I don’t. Why would I want to be equal to a man? Feminism for me is about social justice. It’s about understanding the dynamics of our society and how it affects women. How women do not deserve to be paid less than a man, expected to stay home and raise children, expected to be primary care givers and expected to take on more responsibility in the community, at home and with aging parents and loved ones. Feminism is about women having the choice to make their own decisions when it comes to their life and their bodies.

If you have advantages, a special right or immunity because of the family you were born into, the area in which you grew up, the colour of your light skin, you were born as a male or you are straight (not LGBTTQI*), then you have privileges that some of us don’t. Don’t try and deny, because you’ll only make yourself look like an arrogant, whiny, spoiled brat.

White Privilege
This is a term specifically speaking of the advantages one has in society solely for being white. When you are white, you will have less of a problem with the police, ordering in restaurants, being ignored when you need help at the supermarket, being taken seriously from your doctor, lawyer or physiotherapist, buying a vehicle, house or baked goods at the bakery, crossing borders and pretty much every other fuckin’ thing you can think of.

Hatred of people based on their race or ethnicity, or judging people based on their race or ethnicity. This happens all the time with police and border officials. As well, the news trains us to fear those of non-white ancestry, along with what we learn in school and from our families.

An economic system driven by power, money and oppression — just as patriarchy is. It is based on means of production, distribution and exchange of wealth. It is run by the most powerful and wealthy, where the least powerful and wealthy do all the physical labouring work for way less pay. The poor are not meant to be successful in this business model; they are meant to stay poor while the rich become richer.

Discrimination of social or economic class — very prevalent and very obvious in capitalist societies. In capitalism, the wealthy are of the higher class, and the poor are of the lower class. The poor/lower class are treated with less respect, less dignity and have less privilege. Where the ones who are seen as higher class are treated better and have an abundance of privilege.

Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans, two-spirited, queer/questioning, intersex, *inclusion of everyone else who does not subscribe to any of the previous labels nor do they subscribe to being heterosexual. Don’t judge. Really, it’s none of your business who others love.

Hetero Privilege
If you identify as heterosexual, you will not be judged at dinner parties for bringing your opposite sex date, nor will you generally have a problem with who you are sleeping with according to health care professionals or society in general.

When one hates on someone because of their sexual orientation. People who are LGBTTQI* are dying every day because of oppression, exclusion and homophobia. Learn to be accepting and inclusive.

Hatred of women. When you blame things on women just for being women, that’s misogyny. When you call women down and use words such as bitch, ho, slut, cunt, etc. when referring to women, that’s misogyny. More people are more misogynistic than I would like to admit.

Male Privilege
If you haven’t already figured it out, this is in regards to advantages one has for being born a male. When born male, one will be paid more with less education, is not expected to work as hard, is taken seriously, is seen as confident and stern as opposed to “a bitch” when putting their foot down, will be given a job before a female, is not expected by society to partake in child minding or house duties, is rarely blamed for not having much to do with their kids nor when they spend a large portion of time with their friends doing stupid things, can sleep with as many people as they want without being seen as a “slut” and have an easier time with the justice system when they are being charged. They often play the victim when confronted with their privilege; at the same time, it is their privilege that allows them to be ignorant to it.

A socially constructed “boys’ club.” It is prevalent everywhere in the world and is generally run by power hungry men and boys. This has historically caused much suffering and still does. I am convinced patriarchy is the world’s biggest problem. It lays the foundation for every other problematic issue on this list, as well as every other problem everywhere. It is always oppressive and always gives unearned power to the male.