I’m here to clear up any misconceptions people may have about the concept of feminism. Of course, I can’t speak for every single person who calls themselves a feminist. In modern times, the definition of the word has been skewed.
- “You’re a feminist? Well then you must hate men” Feminism is not in any way about hate. Hate is an ugly and destructive word. Feminism is about gender equality. Equality. Not only do I want women to be equal to men, I want men to be equal to women. Now that I’ve said that, you’re probably thinking, “what?” I want the social stigma around male victims of sexual assault to disappear. I want men to be able to talk about mental illnesses and eating disorders as freely as women can without being seen as weak. I want the court system to rid themselves of favoring a mother over a father in a child’s custody case simply because of the parent’s gender. I want men to not be criticized for being more feminine than expected. So no, I do not hate men.
- “Women already have their equal rights. I’ve never been mistreated as a woman!” When a woman says this, I sigh heavily. Most women I have heard say this are straight, white, American women from a wealthier middle class family. While yes, you personally may have never felt wronged because of your gender, that doesn’t mean the problem does not exist. There are still women on this planet who cannot go to school and get an education, who are forced into arranged marriages, who are raped, who cannot get certain jobs, and who have to dress a certain way in order to avoid punishment. You are lucky to have been born into a well to do family in America, but not everyone is as lucky as you. Yes, personally I have never been raped. But that doesn’t mean that rape is a problem in this country and the world.
- “What’s wrong with gender roles? They seem fine to me” This argument was commonly used in the 1970s feminist movement. Not everyone has a problem with gender roles. There are women everywhere who are perfectly content being stay at home moms to take care of their children and manage the household. It’s a hard job that many people underestimate. However, there are also women everywhere who would like to have a different way of life. Like being able to have a career of their own. I know personally that while I see myself getting married and having children in the future, I will not want to give up my career forever to care for them by myself all of the time. Especially nowadays, where the nuclear family image is altering itself and where alternative family situations are very common, gender roles should not be forced onto anyone. If you wouldn’t want anyone to tell you how to live your life, why should you tell them how to live theirs?