In the public sphere the words that are used to describe progressive ideas and movements have long since been used to embody a whole list of concepts long bastardized and pulled out of context to be grouped together for some coffee talk: socialism, democracy, protest or protester are some illustrative examples that depending on what side you stand will bring different images to mind. But if there is a word, a definition, an assumed position that has grown out of being distorted, then it is that one word. The F word. Feminism.
Feminism, in its enormous diversity, takes liberation and equality as its flag. And in that sense is a politically charged word.
Some would have you believe that as an idea it is the diametric opposite to the patriarchy we find ourselves in today. It is yet for us to explain that feminism is not the other side of a machismo culture, nor does it intend to enslave men. It is not intended to be claimed with centuries of subjugation to males.
And when it comes to characterizing it, even the most progress of the progress go so far as to in validate their opinion with comments like: "I understand them, but the closer they get to feminism the worse they get". Because of course, feminism is not only a bad word and burdens you with an army of skeptics, but it has become a term to be used as a scapegoat, to devalue or position. We may no longer be burned at the stake, but we are still witches in the eyes of many around the world. And the truth is we are noisy and insistent when subjected to injustice, we make our complaints clear when we encounter treatment we don't like, we question the status quo at home, work, in the street, in history and we are willing to not only ask for but expect equality.
It is worth saying that our opponents are the same ones found in opposition to equality: narrow and conservative minds who writhe from disgust at our presence, the same who are frightened of restless students, poor people, the alienated, and those who they view as different.
We still have a long way to go but our numbers have grown along the way. We march on and multiply, we become stronger: when we demand that they stop the violence against use because of our bodies, when we denounce the disappearance of women and girls for trafficking, when we point to abusers regardless of where they are seated in society.