Happy Tuesday Everyone!
So as you can see I survived this weekend, although I am definitely feeling it. The SMSU women’s rugby team took 2nd in our bracket and I believe the SMSU men’s rugby team took 3rd in their’s (not 100% sure on that one). Overall we had a blast and I found out that Wayne, NE can be windier than Marshall, MN…who knew! Anyways today I am going to talk about a kinda touchy subject but I plan to keep it very light hearted and informational.
Today I am going to talk about the misconceptions of feminism. As a feminist myself and a member of the SMSU Feminist club here on campus I have heard many misconceptions about feminism and what feminists stand for. I have even found myself refraining from telling people that I am a feminist because they tend to shy away from me as if I have the plague after I tell them. I find this really sad and frustrating so today I am going to clear up some of the myths and misconceptions about feminism so people can start to realize that being a feminist is not a bad thing.
I am mainly going to list off some of this misconceptions and myths and explain how they are not true with the help of some articles I found. First I want to start by giving the definition of feminism which I found on Wikipedia. Feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” Now I will list of some of the misconceptions and myths of feminism.
- All Feminists hate men.
- FALSE! As I stated above Feminists believe in social, political and economical equality between men and women. Misandrists are people who hate men. Feminism do not equal misandry.
- They want to get rid of all men from the planet
- NOPE! I don’t even know how this is still an idea BUT I hear it all the time. Of course Feminists don’t want to get rid of men! What would be the point of that? I mean seriously. Anyways, this idea comes from the media representations of radical feminism from the 60s and 70s BUT it shouldn’t still be happening today.
- All Feminists are lesbians
- Seriously? As a straight woman with a boyfriend of 4 years I can tell you that this one is a lie. I know plenty of straight people of both genders that are Feminists. Just because I am a woman who supports women doesn’t mean I am sexually attracted to them.
- Feminists are all women
- Like I said in number 3 I know plenty of straight and gay men that are Feminists. If you believe in equal rights for both men and women (regardless of your gender) you are a feminist. It is not something to be ashamed of.
- Feminists are “anti-bra” and never shave.
- All I can do is shake my head with this one. This might be a little TMI but I love wearing bras and I can’t go over a day or two without shaving. The reason why some Feminists go bra-less and never shave is because it is a choice. They are basically says “screw you” to beauty standards, but I can promise you this is not a thing most feminists do these days. Side-note: It is a myth that Feminists of the 1960’s burnt their bras in protest of the 1968 Miss America pageant. They threw a bunch of items like: mops, playboy magazines, makeup, high heels and bras but they were never on fire.
- Women cannot be feminine and be a feminist at the same time.
- I would consider myself pretty feminine when I want to be. Ultimately feminism is about giving women the right to choose not finding ways to limit self-expression. Women can wear whatever they want as long as they recognize that it is a choice.
- Men and women are equal now so we don’t need feminism anymore.
- WRONG. There is still a lot that needs to be done when it comes to gender equality. For one there is a massive pay gap between men and women, many jobs are not friendly to mothers and most women continue to be responsible for the majority of the housework, the list goes on.
- Feminism only cares about women.
- NO, NO, NO. Feminism doesn’t just liberate women, it also liberates men by breaking down standards that society put on both men and women. In society men are taught to be: “macho”, emotionless and never show weakness. These social norms are just as damaging to men as the social norms on women. Ultimately feminism says it is okay for men to be whoever they and to be.
- Feminists are all angry and like to shame and belittle men.
- Once again far from the truth! Modern feminists very rarely get so angry that they start fights and protests. The only reason this would happen is if the subject is very drastic or needs drastic measures to get the point across. Modern day feminists are actually pretty “chill” and are open to anyone who wants to talk about equal rights of any kind. Everyone needs to stop associating modern day feminists with the radical feminists of the 60s and 70s, feminism has evolved from this.
- Last but not least! Feminists hate the following: marriage, you holding the door open for them and you playing dinner for them.
- One, I can’t wait to get married (i’ve been planning my wedding since I was 5). The only reason why a feminist wouldn’t really like TRADITIONAL weddings is because of some of the aspects of the process such as: the vows of obeying the groom, taking the grooms last name and having their father give them away to the groom. BUT, this isn’t the middle ages anymore so you don’t HAVE to get married in the traditional way. For the other two it all boils down to choice. I’m about 99.9% sure that any feminist would be totally fine with having a door held open for them and their meal paid for.
In the end, feminism isn’t an evil thing or something to be ashamed of. It is all about choice and equality not power and hatred. Feminism isn’t something that should be hated or shunned just because of certain acts of the past. Everything that has happened in the past has helped build today so lets not dwell on it. Besides there are plenty of amazing people who are feminists and most people don’t even know it.
Just to name a few: Coco Channel, Barbara Walters, Yoko Ono, Maya Angelou, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Malala Yousafzai, Beyonce, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Patrick Stewart, Mark Ruffalo, John Legend, Seth Meyers, Louis C.K., Prince Harry, Ryan Gosling, Andy Samberg, Ian Somerhalder and The Dalai Lama. For the full list of both check out the links below.
Hopefully this post cleared up any misconceptions of feminism and what feminists stand for. If you have any questions or comments feel free to respond to this post. Just understand that I truly don’t mean to offend anyone, I am just trying to clear up some confusion on the matter. If any of you want to talk about feminism, equal rights and other topics of choice in person or want to join the SMSU Feminist Club we meet every thursday at noon in SC 236!
Here are my links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism (Wiki article on feminism)
http://hellogiggles.com/misconceptions-about-feminism/ (Article on misconceptions of feminism)
http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/gws/resources/myths.html (Article on myths about feminism)
http://www.studentbeans.com/mag/en/campus/14-misconceptions-about-feminism (Another article on misconceptions of feminism)
http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/g4201/famous-feminists-throughout-history/ (famous female feminists in history)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/25/famous-male-feminists-men-support-women_n_5564005.html (famous male feminists in history)