"You're a feminist? But you're so normal. YOU don't burn bras or hate men."
The other day, a friend of mine and I were talking and somehow got on the subject of feminism. Her reaction when I seemed to support it shocked her and that was her immediate response. I laughed it off and gave her a brief rundown of how those two observances were very inaccurate depictions of feminism, then went on my merry way. It wasn't until later on that I realized how genuinely confused she was that someone who seemed as "normal" as me could possibly support such a radical cause.
Perplexed, I asked a few of my other female friends and a few of them seemed to immediately shut down when I brought it up. After asking about their views of it and hearing their ideas about feminism based on what they have seen or heard, I realized that far too often we are misled by media outlets and people we trust to educate and inform us on important matters.
Being a feminist does not mean you are automatically signed up for every topless march or immediately have to burn all of your bras. I am a feminist and I have never burned a bra before, nor do I ever plan on burning a bra (though by the end of the day I usually want to). Those things are expensive. Being a feminist does, however, mean that you support the women around you and their rights to their beliefs, ideas, and opinions. It means that you support the crazy idea that women can, and will, make a difference in our society, politics, media, and everyday lives.
Being a feminist means that you believe that female representation is important and that our young girls should grow up knowing it is possible for them to one day be in a position of influence. It is supporting all women despite our differences and varying backgrounds and beliefs. Feminism is rooting for other women instead of tearing them down or feeling you need to compete with them.
Feminism is not what you might think. It is not all about radical protests (though some can be/are very helpful and necessary) or the hatred of men. It is about supporting your world wide female population and their best interests. Too often, stories are exaggerated by certain media platforms to attempt to sway your opinions on important issues to fit their own beliefs. Be wary of this, and know that not everything is always as straight-forward as it may seem from their coverage or report of it.
So yes, I am a feminist, and you should be too.
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