Feminism: What You Think vs. What It Is
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Feminism: What You Think vs. What It Is

Believe it or not, they aren't the same.

30
Feminism: What You Think vs. What It Is
Meredith Corporation

I bet I can guess your thoughts while clicking on this article. "Oh great, here's another privileged white girl yelling about equality for women while she drinks her non-fat caramel macchiato and does nothing about it." Well, I'm going to stop you right there for two reasons. One, I believe in drinking full-fat lattes. Two, the purpose of this article isn't to yell some random, vague statements about feminism designed to make the entire world offended. The purpose is to disprove common misconceptions about feminism using support from various sources and my own brand of humor.

This will be difficult in and of itself, since "feminism is often spoken about as if there were a 'true' and authentic feminism, unified and consistent over time and in any one place, even if fragmented in its origins and at specific historical moments;" however, feminism has a widespread definition that is difficult to pin down (Delmar 9). Hopefully, this article will help bring about some sort of relatable definition of what feminism is by proving what it is not. Enjoy, my lovely readers.

"Feminism is just for rich, white women."

A common definition for feminism is the aim "to make women the social equals of men" (hooks 18). Seems pretty easy, right? America will pass a couple of laws, make sure everyone gets paid the same, and everyone's happy, correct? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. One of the biggest problems of that meaning is the words "women" and "men" because, when one takes the time to look into them, the two words represent so much more than the average individual usually realizes. What kind of women is being discussed here? If the answer is "all," what does that mean? Upper-class women? Hispanic women? Transgender women? The same concept applies to the "men" in the above definition. What "men" do "women" aspire to be equal to? Lower-class men? African American men?

The unfortunate reality of society is that there are several different levels of equality within the categories of "men" and "women;" however, this is the starting point for feminism itself. If the general aim is equality for all, then isn't feminism for everyone?

"Feminism means putting women above men because they all hate men."

As you saw in the last section, there are different levels of equality, so attempting to place "women" above "men" is inherently impossible; however, even when that is disregarded, this idea that feminists are man-haters is entirely counterproductive to their general goal for equality for all. In the past, feminists "insisted that men were 'the enemy,' the cause of all our problems. As a consequence, we [meaning feminists] examined almost exclusively women's relationship to male supremacy and the ideology of sexism" (hooks 25). This concept also limits the potential impact of feminism because it focuses only on sexism in regards to women even though there are a number of other oppressions that feminism could positively influence as well.

"Feminism just wants to topple the patriarchal institution."

This is not only incorrect, it's incredibly irresponsible. Think about it: if the patriarchal system (meaning the way our society is male-dominated) was eliminated, then another system would have to replace it, which "run[s] the very real risk that the dominant ideology of the culture is reduplicated in the feminist movement through cultural imperialism" (qtd. in hooks 26-7). This idea that feminism would take the place of the patriarchy goes against the central idea of equality of feminism.

"Feminism only applies to the idea of equal pay for women."

Feminism, while important for the idea of equal pay, isn't only applicable to economic rights for women. Ultimately, "feminism is the struggle to end sexist oppression. Its aim is not to benefit solely any specific women, any particular race or class of women. It does not privilege women over men. It has the power to transform in a meaningful way all our lives" (hooks). Feminism can be intersected (or combined, put simply) with many identities like gender, sex, sexuality, class, race, religion, and others to strive for equality throughout

In short, feminism has the power to impact our society positively, and limiting it with these statements is unjust to the core beliefs of the movement.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
bruce springsteen album cover born in the usa

Anyone who was born and raised in New Jersey (or anywhere really) knows of Bruce Springsteen, whether or not they like him is a whole other situation. I hope that his hundreds of classic rock songs and famous high energy performances, even in his sixties he can put on better concerts than people half his age, are at least recognizable to people of all ages. Love him or hate him (I identify with the former) you have to admit that some of his songs and interviews have inspirational quotes and lyrics.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

New England Summers Are The BEST Summers

Why you should spend your next summer in New England.

1077
Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less
Entertainment

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

237491
illustration of the fibonacci sequence
StableDiffusion

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments