How to navigate talking about feminism like a pro

5. Reclaim the concept of family

Establish that feminists aren’t trying to take away or attack the traditional nuclear family model for those who want that; rather, they’re fighting for different forms of families and communities to be included under that same umbrella of rights and protections.

As Naureen Shameem puts it, advocating for “the bonds that hold us together” is actually exactly what feminists are invested in.

“Family is one of the ways in which a topic that’s dear to a lot of our hearts is misused, twisted and warped by anti-rights actors to try to fulfil an anti-women’s rights and anti-LGBTQ agenda. And with all of us [feminists and human rights activists] coming from this perspective – of a focus on the bonds that hold us together and equal access to social justice and rights – it’s really unfortunate to focus on highlighting the way in which people are trying to change the narrative, to use terms that are important to us like ‘family’ to take away our rights.”

Similarly, supporting access to abortion is “pro-life” because, without this, women will die from unsafe, underground procedures. On all these fronts, it is important to challenge the binary framing that would pit feminist movements against concepts such as ‘life’ or ‘family’, and to reclaim rather than surrender these powerful ideals.

This post was originally published on Radio Free.