The Misconceptions Of Feminism And What We Can Do To Change Them

The Misconceptions Of Feminism And What We Can Do To Change Them

There are those who have extremist views, but they do not represent the heart of what feminism is about.

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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:

Malala explains how everyone can participate in being feminists.

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!

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Why Getting Financially Stable is Too Difficult

Becoming 18 and having freedom is every kid's dream, but the reality of it hits you hard. The problem is not the laziness of people, but the system is set up in a bad way.

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Turning 18 is a big deal in life because you are finally a legal adult and your about to graduate from high school. It is a new experience for young adults because now all the pressure is on and you in control of your own life. The freedom and ability to choose your own path is a great problem to have because the opportunities are endless on what a person wants. The problem that kids do not realize and I think need to be changed is the cost of trying to get comfortable living in life.

One major problem is the number of bills that young people have to start paying for themselves. A car is a necessity to get a person to school or work and car insurance is the most expensive at a younger age due to the lack of inexperience and the increased risk of a child participating in poor behavior while operating the vehicle. Most people need a cell phone for many uses and that is another expensive bill. The more people on a plan the cheaper it is, but most people only get their own.

Some parents expect children to pay their own bills and get a job while they attend college or tech schools to learn responsibilities and start supporting themselves. Although some parents make children pay rent and utilities or ask them to get their own place and that is had to do when only working a minimum wage job without school experience. Getting a college degree or certified in a tech school can take 2 years, but if the student has to work a lot to support themselves then it takes longer to just get their basic knowledge for their job.

Establishing credit is something that many young adults struggle with because no place wants to give you the first chance to do it which makes no sense. People will apply for loans and credit cards and be denied because they have no credit, but you can't get any because you are not given the fair chance to work hard at making your payments on time and avoiding falling into a huge amount of debt. Credit cards can help teenagers with emergency situations and can help them attempt to establish their future credit when they need to make a purchase on a home or car. These are necessities in everyday life and the fact that nobody wants to be the first to trust you is extremely annoying and not fair.

The responsibility of learning to budget money and make the payments on time would be great if they were affordable for students. They should have small set limits to start out to teach them how to budget their credit card. Credit cards can be dangerous if you spend too much that is not within your financial means, but they are a good way to get established for the future. Buying a house is a big deal and if a younger adult does not have any credit they will easily be denied if they do not have good credit with tons of experience in paying their debt back.

Obtaining school loans is the hardest task I have ever had to deal with. I have struggled to get approved due to our absurd system of needing a cosigner to sign for the student. Most college kids are pretty responsible because they typically are maturing and gaining plenty of responsibilities and they have gained knowledge from their parents to become better. Parents have their own finances to worry about and being an adult at 18 or older we wanted to take the responsibility on ourselves to take out the loans. Taking out the loans in your own name can make a person feel good that they have been given the opportunity and work harder knowing you're doing this all by yourself and becoming a full adult.

The way the world is set up is a little too difficult for a younger adult to get established in their career and schooling to ensure they live a happy and healthy life. The key to a persons success is finding what they want to do and making sure they have the right schooling or certification to get in the career field they choose. People will all need to have money and credit to get necessities like houses and cars in their lives in order to provide for their families to ensure they are happy and healthy. Young adults have a lot of stress and change happening in their lives and they are still trying to gain the knowledge, experience, and opportunities they need to become stable with their money so they can enjoy their job and come home to their family and be happy.

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