August 11, 2015
Feminism is About Choice, Right? Not Quite

A comic shows why feminism is not merely about choice.

by Aqila Putri
Issues // Gender and Sexuality
Share:
It is very common now to think that feminism simply equals having the freedom to choose. Many women say that they “choose to be a housewife” or “choose to have an abortion” or “choose to wear a make-up” as a legitimate example of feminism.
 
This concept has been getting more attention this days, what with the media and public figures picking up this idea in order to “show” how supporting they are of women and women empowerment – Vogue India releasing “My Choice” video for their Vogue Empower campaign and Playboy declaring that pornography is women’s choice to be subjected in such way, to name a few.
 
But is feminism only about choice?
 
Everyday Feminism has an excellent point on issue. They created a comic in order to highlight the misconception that has been getting more attention these days.  The comic, full of useful and easy-to-understand metaphors, pointed out how the choices we make does not necessarily mean feminism.
 
In fact, a lot of our choices are based on the current condition that has been shaped by patriarchy. “Choice Feminism”, the idea behind this concept, is a term that refers to a belief in which a woman’s freedom to choose trumps her right to equality. Coined by Linda Hirsman in her manifesto “Get to Work,” Choice Feminism has crept into the general understanding of feminism, blurring the line of what feminism actually is.
 


When our choices are based on options that are presented by an unequal world, it cannot be celebrated without scrutiny. The fundamental concept that should be embedded in the society in order to make our choices free from discrimination and prejudices are not acknowledged. The world we live in is yet to be an ideal place where women have as much opportunity and rights as men.
 
Acknowledging the fact that inequality still plays a big role in our world while making our choices is very important, because by doing so, we acknowledge that our work in fighting for equality is not over.


 


Find out about the impact 
of low representation of women in politics.
 
Aqila Putri is a sophomore studying at Wesleyan University, trying to pursue her degree in Economics and International Relations. Her daydreams consist of owning a bakery and a kitchen like Gordon Ramsay's. Hit her up at @aqilalistya to talk about food, cat, and social justice.