Feminism

Feminism: The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Feminism covers many topics, but since not a lot of people are aware on the subject I’m just going to introduce it. When I first heard the word feminism I had no idea what it meant. I was aware of the issue, but had no idea there was an overarching word to describe the movement for women’s equal rights. Prior to this year I’d never had a conversation about feminism. Nowadays it’s a much bigger topic in the media and among many celebrities. Once I heard the word feminism I wanted to know more about it. Doing research, I found out more about misogyny, dress codes, and unequal pay. I was definitely shocked and confused as to why this wasn’t being brought up more. Why wasn’t anyone talking about women’s rights, or internalized misogyny amongst women? I wanted to tell everyone about it, but unfortunately the topic has been swept under the rug a lot.

After learning what feminism was I read a handful of articles on it, listened to speeches, and talked to a few people about their opinion on feminism. As I learned more and more I came across a popular article explaining intersectionality. The author explained how many celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Miley cyrus, and Kylie Jenner often excluded anyone who wasn’t a white, able-bodied woman from their ‘feminist propaganda’. The feminism that is talked about in magazines and all over social media tends to leave out people of color, LGBTQI, and disabled people.  There is a very close minded idea as to what feminism really is. Without doing research and taking your time learning about feminism, you won’t understand it.

There are plenty misconceptions about feminism. One of the biggest misconceptions is that feminists are all women. Feminism is not a female exclusive movement. Being a feminist means believing in equal rights for both men and women. If you’re all for equal rights, regardless of your gender, you’re a feminist. Anziz Ansari, an American actor and comedian, told the public he was a feminist with one really great analogy that has always stuck in my head.

“If you believe that men and women have equal rights, and then someone asks if you’re a feminist, you have to say yes. Because that’s how words work.

You can’t be like, ‘Yeah, I’m a doctor who primarily does diseases of the skin.’

‘Oh, so you’re a dermatologist?’

‘Oh that’s way too aggressive of a word, not at all, not at all.’”

This analogy is so important and is a perfect example of a  misapprehension that people may have. Another misconception that many people have is feminists, people who believe in equality, hate men. It’s quite a funny misunderstanding because  feminism is about being equal to men, not above them. The feminist movement isn’t ‘anti-man’ so much as it is anti-patriarchal society which we unfortunately live in. The final misconception I will talk about, all though there are hundreds more, is that Feminism and equality are two different things. Feminism and equality are the same thing! Sexism affects half of the entire population, so naturally the fight for gender equality includes the individuals who are also victims of homophobia, racism, classism, and plenty other types of discrimination.

A lot of people think that they don’t need feminism or it’s not important to them. Well if you’re one of those people, stop being ignorant. You might not believe it’s important to you, but it’s important to thousands of other people and being selfish or ignoring the problem isn’t helping. Do something about it! There are a lot of things you can do to help. First thing is to acknowledge the problems feminism is dealing with, and understand it.

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