Adamo took a trip down memory lane and returned to his old high school to talk to current students about their thoughts on Feminism.
It took a very long time for me to understand that, based on the mindset already engrained into my being, I was a Feminist.
I grew up in a house full of women, so I was naturally exposed to a culture where you’re taught to respect women and view them as equal. Life can be a pretty unfair place one would say, but at no point in my head has it (or would it ever) make sense that a woman should be paid less or be considered less qualified for a position because of her sex, the same ideal I’ve forever applied to race, religion, etc.
But that word itself, Feminism, is a scary one. One of the biggest obstacles Feminism has to overcome is simply the extremely negative connotation attached to the actual word. Growing up, the only situations someone like me had ever witnessed involving usage of the term Feminism were the stereotypical ones in the news/online that elicit responses similar to Zig and Tiny’s in the Degrassi: Next Class episode, #ButThatsNoneOfMyBusiness:
My line of thinking as a young adult was similar to theirs; Zig and Tiny weren’t hostile about it, but their attitudes were casually dismissive. They knew nothing about what Feminism is, but to them it’s all about women being angry man haters, because that’s the only image of it Zig and Tiny had been exposed to. People tend to lack the motivation to dig deeper into things, especially if their initial experiences are negative. It’s even worse now, with social media having turned us into a generation that reacts to headlines before having read the full story.
It took finding myself in a TV show fandom, surrounded by female friends who identify as Feminists, to fully realize and experience that there’s more to this movement than complaining and hating every male in existence. These are women I admire and respect. They convey their beliefs and opinions in a sensible, intelligent matter, and over the years they’ve forced me to challenge not only what I think, but how I think. That isn’t to say hateful, destructive voices within the Feminist community don’t exist. Every group, and every side of every topic in existence has that loud, irrational type who wants to shut down opposing viewpoints while beating us over the head with their own opinion. Their nonsense tends to dominate the spotlight, but they don’t speak for everyone.
There was never a light-bulb moment for me, instead it was a gradual shift in thinking that should come with growing as an adult. Whether it’s dealing with the distraction of a hostile opposing viewpoint or trying to present your own, your mindset always matters.