Why We Should All Be Feminists According to Rupi Kaur

Words by Lori Dumaligan

When you hear the word feminist, what are the first words that come to mind? Is it man-hater or unhappy angry women?

One of the best definitions come from best-selling author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She says that a feminist is a man or a woman who says, “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today, and we must fix it. We must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.”

As March is Women’s Month, do you know why people are fighting for feminism? One of the most outspoken women on gender based issues is Rupi Kaur. Through her poetry books –“Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers” along with her use of social media,” she portrays a multicultural perspective on the discrimination that women go through because of their gender and she points out the positive effects of supporting women. Here are examples of her poetry that remind us all this month why we should all be feminists.

5. Being a feminist means not allowing the “colonial” standards of beauty to become the norm.

In the Philippines, white skin and sharp noses are the ultimate goal. Brown skin is not considered beautiful. Just check out your local drugstore and you’ll see many whitening products on the shelves. But after hundreds of years of colonial legacy, let’s ask ourselves why we are still subscribing to their “view.”

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This color of our skin carry the radiance of the sun, Rupi elaborates on her book “The Sun and her Flowers.” So instead of imposing Filipino beauty standards, this poem reminds girls just how beautiful they are regardless of their skin color or ethnicity. So, being a feminist simply means someone who doesn’t subscribe to these outdated colonial beauty standards.

4. Being a feminist means understanding that we must “demand” equality.

Rupi Kaur also stands up to the patriarchy through her poetry. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”  So, in a patriarchal world, nothing can be achieved by sitting around. That’s why we celebrate women’s month because of the hard work of passionate and persistent women who demanded for their freedom and for equality. 

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✊🏽 it’s our time.

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Women have marched in protest, have been blocked in every step up, and have been ridiculed for demanding equality. Now, women can vote, can own lands under their name, and can even file for divorce. What an amazing time we live in!

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Women have worked over the years to shatter the glass ceiling of discrimination. One amazing and recent example is the #MeToo movement that’s become a megaphone for women’s voices in the film industry. So being a feminist is also participating in making the next generation of women’s lives even better than today! 

But it doesn’t stop here.

3. Being a feminist means appreciating women for their talents and achievements.

Just hundreds of years ago, girls were taught that they must aspire to get married, especially to a rich man, and have children. Why?  There were scientists who spent their lives measuring brains who concluded that women cannot be leaders or innovators because women’s brains were smaller than men.

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But women have proved themselves to be more than just child bearers. They have excelled and pushed forward in science, maths (see the movie – Hidden Figures), and politics!

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where my women attttt ✊🏽LET’S. SHAKE. THIS. PLACE. UP. #nolongerstayingquiet

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So, supporting feminism also means encouraging girls to think big and never let socially accepted norms stop their imaginations.

ALSO READ: 7 Unconventional Strong Female Characters That Deserve More Attention


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