Stereotypes of feminism hinder equality movement


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FEMALE EMPOWERMENT. During the month of march, there will be a series of story posted about feminism and women’s history.

*The authors of this editorial gathered together with different perspectives of feminism. Each author will write a story about one of the points in this article in greater depth, creating a series advocating for true feminism and breaking down the negative connotations that have been tethered to it. 

Feminism: a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal and social equality of the sexes.

The word “feminism” has gained a negative connotation due to the actions of some extremists that have made statements like, “kill all men.” Being referred to as a feminist has also become derogatory and has defeated the original purpose of feminism: to gain equal representation of both of the sexes. International Women’s Day is on March 8, and the whole month of March is Women’s History Month. It is a time to look at all the work women have done in the past to gain equality and to spotlight everything that feminists are still working towards today. 

The stereotypes of feminism need to be broken and brought down because they are hindering the movement of equality for all. 

Feminism is the equality of all the sexes. It is equality for every color and race of every gender identity. A person does not need to be a female to be a feminist. Being a feminist means that they want equality for everyone, so it does not matter what they identify as. The phrase “girls support girls” has become popular among younger generations, but that is not the basis of being a feminist. Feminism is a fight for all, and viewing this movement as a “women only” movement will make it harder for true change to occur.  

Being religious does not mean a person cannot be a feminist. Even though religious values many not line up with some of the views of people that are feminist, it does not over shadow that fact that everyone should be treated equally. An individual can still follow, and live by their religion and at the same time, believing that no one is lesser than another person. 

Oftentimes when the topic of feminism is brought up, it immediately goes into the comparison between the sexes and which one is “better.” A common stereotype of being a feminist is that women want to have privileges above men and that they are “the better sex,” but that’s not correct.

The core value of feminism is to break away from a patriarchal society and have equal opportunities for all. 

It is true that some women who say that they are feminist, make the comment that they hate all men, but those women are not true feminists. Hate is a very strong word, and it has no place in the feminist movement. Phrases like “kill all men,” or “throw men away” have brought about ideals that women are better or should be at a higher place than the men of their society, but this is completely contradictory to the original fight for equality and equal opportunity between the genders. Feminist should not be generalized as angry women who want nothing to do with men. No matter how a woman decides to live her life, whether it’s by being a single working woman, or a married woman with a family, her relationship with men isn’t what being a feminist is about. To be a true feminist means to want change in a world that was built for men and to have equality for all.

Feminist can range from an individual woman with a career who travels and is not tied down to a homemaker and a stay-at-home mom. People see women who are stay-at-home moms who cook, clean and nurture children as separate from the feminist movement. At first glance it may seem like these women are following the patriarchal system where women stay home and men make the money, but they do not understand that motherhood, and being a parent in general, is a crucial job in society that is often overlooked. Being a stay-at-home mom does not mean that the woman is oppressed or not a feminist, she is simply doing work that is important to her, and the decision to accomplish this never-ending task of being responsible for another human life is not degrading. It is her personal empowerment, and that, itself, is feminism.

“Kill all men” is viewed as the front of the feminist movement, but a blanket statement like this one has buried its true intention: equal opportunity. Everyone is different, but they are equal in value and they should celebrate their differences, not be judged for them. Throughout history, there have been many examples of women being denied their basic rights to things like education or making a decision for themselves, and even though society has mostly moved past that way of thinking, not everyone has gained true equality. In the end, the goal of feminism is to break down the patriarchy, not build a matriarchy.