Feminism is not a label. I know that this word and the connotations that are piled on to it are often used that way, but that makes feminism into a static entity, like a noun. Used this way, the purpose is usually to fix a person as a “man-hater,” or, perhaps, a “traitor to his gender.”
Feminism is an active, thoughtful, conscious way of being that operates from the stance that females are human and as humans, females in all their multiplicities, have an inalienable right to be treated as such.
It’s really quite basic.
Females are, always have been, and always will be human beings.
Feminism wraps itself around this basic truth and holds it close. Females are human beings; therefore, they have the ultimate sovereignty over their bodies and lives, and they possess the inviolable right to be respected, treated, and addressed in all ways as a human being. Feminism is against patriarchy and works to eradicate it because patriarchy rejects this fundamental truth.
Patriarchy works assiduously and continuously to deny women their own humanness. Instead, it promotes that women/girls/transgendered are less then and inferior to men/boys. Patriarchy preaches that females are sort of “subhuman.” This system is engineered to polarize women and men in general because, as part of its design, it puts males into an oppressor or dominator position over females, and rewards males with unearned exclusive privileges or authorities.
Feminism is the perspective, work, and consciousness that strives to shake us loose and break us free from the restrictive oppression of sexism, racism, and classism that patriarchy imposes upon all of our lives.