I recently saw an article treading on this website titled "I Am A Female and I Am So Over Feminists" and of course, had to read this because it caught my eye (as it should, so good job to the writer and the editor) and was completely baffled at the blatant misinterpretation of what feminism is about. Though I agree that there are a number of feminists that put down men and blame them for everything, there are also plenty that just strive for equality without necessarily resorting to gender-blaming tactics. The article writer's analysis summed up seems to be that women are doing a lot better than before, that women despite having entered the work-force after men are doing a kick-ass job (and it's true) but the concept isn't exactly there.
Let's backtrack: "feminism" as defined by google means "the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes." At no point in this does it equate to feminism meaning women now being better than men, but it does involve calling out injustices and inequality! If we see a woman is getting paid less than a fellow co-star when they're both equally important and famous, then that injustice should be addressed! It's not about being angry at all men, even though it is fun to poke at me or others, it's simply just making sure that the inequality is heard! Women are strong and independent and feminism is not arguing that women cannot be vulnerable and also find a companion in a man if they are feminists. That's a misconception!
I've heard women like Emma Watson, goodwill ambassador for UN Women, and Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education, talk about the notions of feminism so eloquently and educated that I feel like they are worthy of being shared below:
As Emma Watson says, "Fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating...this has to stop."
If you took the time to watch some of these clips, you come to understand where I'm getting at with this article. Hating on men is NOT synonymous with feminism. It's not about thinking a man to be rude when they compliment women or offer help, but about allowing women to feel empowered in and of themselves. They don't need men to tell them that they are worthy, but it is not something that is discouraged so long as it is done appropriately and correctly.
I agree that the United States and many European nations have come far in women's rights, but just getting far does not equate to being equal. Progress is not synonymous with equality. When women are paid the same as men, when they are afforded the same respect, when they are given fair representation on behalf of rights that pertain to them and not men - that's when equality is reached. I cannot possibly phrase this as well as Emma Watson did, but this is my way, as a man, to explain that I can be a feminist without hating my own gender.
I notice how women are treated and how men are raised in misogynistic manners and it irks me. Real feminism is not just advocating for women's rights, it's about advocating for men to let down their guards, to be allowed to be vulnerable. The writer of the article I mentioned earlier said how she thinks it's okay for women to be vulnerable in front of men, but what about the opposite? Men should feel the same. Women and men should be treated equally all throughout, in personal expectations, in society, and in their emotions.
Feminism is not so easily summed up to man-hating, and I despise seeing people who misinterpret the concept because of others who say or do things in the name of feminism. The problem lies in ill-educated individuals who contort the ideal a frame it in a way that works for their personal goals. I too hate self-proclaimed feminists that do not understand what they are advocating for, but you cannot sum up those poor educated individuals to represent a whole faction of women.
For the writer of that article, you stated how women are kick-ass and doing amazing for themselves, and I agree! What about women who are lazy? Are they going to ruin your statement? Are a few inactive people going to make your thoughts any less true? This is what I mean. Misguided feminists who do not understand the true concept of it are not the ones to listen to. Look up to individuals like Malala and Emma who define it much better than I ever will.
I want to reiterate this once more because it is just insanely true: women are kick-ass. If they are so kick-ass and doing well for themselves, then let's all be feminists and promote a healthy environment of gender equality that not only continuously benefits the women doing so well for themselves, but also the men who have been affected by societal norms too!