Not a feminist? Fine. Don’t put them down.

We need unity, not labels


This screenshot taken from Southern’s video shows her statement, “Third wave feminism is not a movement for equaltiy.” She goes on to give several statistics including that more males are raped annually in the U.S. than females, “yet feminists remain silent,” she says.

A video by The Rebel contributor Lauren Southern went viral last week as she explained all the reasons she claims she’s not a feminist.
Despite the somewhat faulty statistics (most of which ignore any and all societal factors) there is a deeper issue to the video Southern is directing at feminists.
The issue is not that Southern does not identify as a feminist, and though tragic, her inability to recognize how well her argument actually describes a feminist is irrelevant compared to the truly damaging idea that she tells viewers their identification is wrong or less than her own.
Where did the human race get the idea that a person or group can tell another person or group how to identify himself, herself or themselves?
It’s not okay to point fingers at feminists, especially when the things being classified as characteristics of feminism don’t apply to most who identify with that term.
Southern claims “I’m not a feminist because…,” and she lists her various reasons. But Southern is not a feminist simply because she does not identify as a feminist. Simple as that.
No one should be forced to assume a label he or she doesn’t want or that makes him or her uncomfortable, but if we go around pointing fingers at certain groups based on labels, all it does is create tension between people who could potentially be working together to reach a common goal.
It’s no secret that this publication’s editorial content tends to lean quite heavily toward a feminist perspective, and almost every member of our staff identifies as such. We have developed a newsroom culture of like-minded people who share similar views.
But maybe that’s the problem.
We sit in a room discussing why such a video is a problem for feminism, while Southern and those who share her choice to not identify as feminist have a similar conversation elsewhere.
If these groups could find a way to communicate with each other beyond Facebook comments or a video response, maybe they would find how much they truly have in common.