When the word feminism is mentioned, what usually comes to mind is now a twisted, warped version of what the term really means.
Feminism is defined: the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.
Unfortunately there are a great number of people who do not understand the true definition of feminism.
Many men and women take it to mean that women should be higher ranked than men and held in higher regard. Sadly, it is this warped version, which has grown in popularity and led to a common misunderstanding of feminism.
These are the most common misconceptions:
1. Feminists are all women.
Feminism is not a female exclusive movement. If you believe in equal rights for both men and women, regardless of your gender, you’re a feminist.
2. All feminists hate men
Contrary to popular belief, many men are in fact feminists. The feminist movement is not ‘anti-man’ so much as it’s against the patriarchal society we live in which has historically favored men. You can be a feminist and still love men as fathers, brothers, partners, sons, friends and fellow human beings.
3. Feminists believe they are better than men
Feminism is about equality. Not only do feminists not hate men, they also do not believe that they are better than them. Some people seem to think, perhaps because of the ‘fem’ prefix, that feminism seeks to bring men down from their positions of power, when in reality, it’s about correcting the power imbalance and affording women the same opportunities as their male peers.
With all these misconceptions, it is easy to see where the misunderstanding of the feminist movement grows from.
One of the more recent fights again feminism is the “meninist” movement.
“Meninism” is a mockery of feminism; men took to social media to create this pseudo movement.
The number one issue with this movement is it shows the blatant misunderstanding of what feminism is fighting for.
Meninists claim that the feminist movement and standards set by society are oppressing men as a gender. Though the men supporting this movement tend to claim it as a “joke,” all it is doing is causing more backlash for the feminists who are trying to be taken seriously.
If these self-proclaimed meninists are fighting for the rights of men, where is the fight for trans men, gay men and male victims of rape? Are they just too busy harassing feminists online? This harassment is just another example of why we need feminism.
Recently many celebrities like Emma Watson, Beyoncé, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have added their voices to the feminist movement. These celebrities are using their star power to promote feminism, and it’s a great thing.
Perhaps celebrities like these will show the culture we live in that being a feminist is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s actually pretty cool.
For those women who claim they don’t need feminism, ask yourself to think about those women who do; fight for the women who do need feminism.
Those who have faced harassment for just being women. Look into the #YesAllWomen campaign and the “I Need Feminism Because…” campaign. After all, why would women choose to be against something that benefits them?
Feminism is for everybody. The movement has come a long way; the fight has changed but the stereotypes remain. Feminism needs to be understood as a fight for equality not a fight against men.