13 Beliefs Feminists Do And Do Not Hold

13 Beliefs Feminists Do And Do Not Hold

Everyone is equal.
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Feminism is defined as the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. (Merriam-Webster.com) Many times the definition of the word has been misconstrued and manipulated to mean whatever people want it to mean at the time. Some people have a problem with the word because it starts with "fem" and they get the idea that it is some how only for women.

This is not the case, it does not need to be changed to humanist just to appease people because some words have masculine and feminine names... The human race is some times called "mankind." Women haven't whined about that! I think people would have less of a problem with the word if they knew what it actually meant and stopped making up definitions.

As a feminist, I think it is important to erase the taboo about the word and to embrace it's meaning so that more people can become feminists as well. Here are the ways to know whether or not you are a feminist.

1. You believe that men and women are equal.

2. You believe this equality extends to the workplace... EQUAL PAY!

3. You get angry when you hear that men in the government are deciding what women can and cannot do with THEIR bodies.

4. As a woman, you do not tear other women down. You lift them up because you know for us to rise, we have to rise together.

5. As a woman, you DO NOT tear men down. They are not the enemy.

6. As a man, you are not intimidated by a woman with power.

7. As a man, you do not assume that a woman who is a feminist is angry and man hating.

8. As a woman, you do not see men as a meal ticket or a financial savior because you can make your own money.

9. As a man, you know that a woman is not obligated to smile at you, sleep with you, give you anything.

10. As a man, you know that a woman isn't your property, your warm body, your lesser, but your partner and equal.

11. You do not subscribe to double standards. Both Men and Women should be held accountable.

12. You do not subscribe to gender normative behaviors. Men can love the arts, have emotions, wear nail polish and still be men. Women can watch sports, lift weights, not wear dresses and still be women.

13. You know that the fight for equal rights is important and should be fought until it is achieved. But also that it is a little redundant... Because you shouldn't have to fight for what you were born with.

If you read this list and thought... This is me. Congratulations you are a feminist. Now go forth and educate someone.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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