Everyday Feminism strives to end the everyday violence, dominance, and silencing used against people due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, and class and make self-determination and loving communities a new norm.
We take an inside-out approach to social change because we believe that personal transformation and social transformation are interdependent.
People who have internalized society’s messages about not being good enough and deserving to be oppressed, violated, exploited discriminated against are not likely to rise up to change the system.
But the more people can free themselves of these messages and believe in their inherent self-worth, the more they are able to come together to stand up for broader social change.
This belief informs our unique approach in the feminist movement. We help people in applying feminism to work through issues, stand up for themselves, live their truth, and take collective action.
Through our online platform, we give people the concrete knowledge, practical skills, and community support to help them create change in their own lives and communities.
In June 2012, we launched the online magazine and currently have over a quarter-million monthly visitors and a Facebook page of over 70,000 fans. In April 2013, we launched a podcast, forum, and online courses.
Why Feminism Is Our Approach To Personal Transformation
It may not seem like the most obvious choice. But feminism is actually a very empowering framework to understand your world and your place in it.
At Everyday Feminism, feminism makes it the norm that all people are human beings and every person deserves the same rights and opportunity to determine their own lives regardless of their social status.
But society does a lot of things to make that the exception and there’s a lot of things that get in the way of that coming true for people.
How An Elitist Society Messes Us Up
We live in an elitist, judgmental society where almost everyone grows up thinking that there’s something wrong with them. Usually the reason why we think we’re not good enough falls along the lines of gender, sexual orientation, race, class, etc.
Women think they need to be size 2 with big breasts to be attractive. Men think they need to make the big bucks or they’re not a man. LGBTQ hide in the closet for fear of their family rejecting them. Black men learn early that they shouldn’t run even if they’re in a hurry or else people will get scared. Poor women feel guilty about leaving their children at home alone to work multiple low-wage jobs.
In addition to that, certain groups of people are disproportionately targeted for acts of violence and abuse. 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually molested as a child. 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence. Intimate partner homicides accounted for 30% of the murders of women and 5% percent of the murders of men. Almost half of all hate crimes are due to race and those are primarily against blacks. 1 in 3 gays and lesbian youth attempt suicide. 55% of transgender youth report being physically attacked.
Between what society tell us about what we’re worth and people violently informing us of our value, it makes total sense that we don’t actually think we’re good enough.
This is where feminism comes in.
How Feminism Helps You Make Sense Of All This Awfulness
You see, all these terrible things are happening all around us and to us. But they’re so common that we think they’re normal. We don’t even realize it when it’s happening to us a lot of the times!
And when we do realize it, we’re ashamed of ourselves and what happened to us. So we don’t talk about it with others. We actually blame it on ourself!
In an elitist society where certain groups are seen as less then other groups and where people are socially limited to certain roles, it makes sense (but isn’t right) that all these terrible things happen to people.
Feminism helps you name these things as wrong and dehumanizing – not normal and legitimate as we’re taught.
That’s the first step. To realize that you’re not the crazy one. It’s just the world’s crazy and you’re sane so they try to make you look crazy.
You start seeing that you’re not alone in going through these things. There are cultural norms and institituional practices that encourage all these terrible things to happen.
So of course it happened to you. It’s happening to tons of people!
Once you know that, you can start fighting.
Start fighting to not blame yourself, to not simply follow the crowd, to push against social norms.
And this isn’t easy. But feminism can help.
How Feminism Can Help You Transform Your Life
Once you realize you’re actually the sane one in a crazy elitist world, you can start questioning what you’ve been taught and figure out things for yourself.
Feminism supports you in questioning the boxes you’ve been put in. It supports you in finding your own truth and bucking social norms, if that’s what’s needed.
Feminism addresses the shame you feel about expressing who you truly are. It believes you’re enough as you are, that you have inherent self-worth.
Feminism helps us come together to work through our pain and suffering. It shows us how what happens to us doesn’t determine our value or the kind of life we lead.
We can determine our own self-worth and our own lives – if we fight for it.
Why Do We Raise These Difficult Issues?
At Everyday Feminism, we focus on these issues and discuss them openly because few people are. These things affect every person regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, class, age, ability, religion, geography, and any other difference. Everyone experiences subtle and explicit forms of oppression, inequality, and privilege, whether they acknowledge it or not. But most don’t know how to fight against it.
We raise these issues so people can know what they can do personally to take action to both prevent and address them in order to live free, full lives. We support people in taking action to heal from dehumanizing acts like violence, abuse, sexual assault, and discrimination as well as develop a stronger sense of self-worth and confidence around areas like healthy relationships, positive sexuality, shared parenting, and self-loving body images.
We bring these issues into an open and safe discussion space in order to more fully become the compassionate, ethical, and responsible people that we want to be.
We do not raise these issues to make people “victims” or to encourage people to whine about how the world has done them wrong. People do terrible things everyday which dehumanize others. The resulting pain can destroy worlds and eat away at the lives of those who have suffered. But they do not need our pity nor do they deserve to be seen as less than capable.
Instead we need to show that we acknowledge their survival through the horrible things have happened to them and let them know that, they are loved and supported in doing what they need to take care of themself. What they choose to do is their choice. They, just like everyone else, are doing the best that they can given what they know and believe. At Everyday Feminism, we focus on giving them more options and loving support and acknowledgement so that they can choose more fully and freely.
We also do not raise these issues to play a “blame game” and point fingers at people who are being sexist, racist, homophobic, or privileged, etc. We are all raised in cultures that reward certain people and punishes and ignores others based on “what” they are as opposed to valuing them for “who” they are. To a certain degree, we are all conditioned to judge people this way and have internalized these prejudices and biases toward ourselves and others.
We question what we’ve been taught as “true” and “right” when it encourages us to hurt and belittle others and question our own self-worth. From questioning we can more freely and fully choose for ourselves how we want to live our lives and how to treat others.
When we do this together, we can changes our lives, the lives of our loved ones, and our community.