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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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?

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A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.

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