Let's Redefine Feminism

Let's Redefine Feminism

Let's help each other understand what feminism really means.
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Feminism (n) : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. The belief that men and women should be treated as equals.

Crazy, I know. It's the same concept as the golden rule that we all learned in kindergarten. To treat others as you would want to be treated. Why is it, then, that people are so reluctant to label themselves as feminists? It seems that with all of the media attention centered around the actions of radical feminists, we have lost sight of the movement as a whole and what it stands for. Equality. It saddens me to think that people reject the notion of feminism without fully understanding what it means. As a society, we need to stop perpetuating false ideas about what it means to support feminism.

Feminists do not hate men. This is actually called misandry, which is another issue entirely. Somewhere along the line in the battle for gender equality, someone decided that females demanding equal rights meant that they hated men. This is not true. Feminists are not out to get men. If they were, it would get pretty weird, because many men consider themselves feminists. Wanting to be treated with as much respect as men does not equate to hatred in any way. There may be individual feminists that don't like men. This is a personal preference, just like your preference for ice cream, and does not speak for the movement as a whole.

Being a feminist does not mean you must be independent. People seem to have the idea that not only do feminists hate men, but that they refuse to accept help from men. In my opinion, as long as you both view each other as equals, there is nothing wrong with a woman letting a man take care of her. It's perfectly OK to let a man pay for your date or be the sole provider for the family -- if he is not doing so because he sees you as a lesser being. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with a woman that prefers to be independent and take care of herself. Her choice is not part of a vendetta against men, it's just her preferred lifestyle.

Labeling yourself as a feminist does not limit you. These days everybody is afraid to use labels for fear of causing a stir. If you believe in something, why not say so? Being a feminist should empower you. Feminists can be pro-life or pro-choice, single or married, stay-at-home parents or CEO's. Labeling yourself as a feminist does not isolate you. It links you to a larger group of men and women that are just as unique as you are.

Feminists are not trying to be men. The common misconception is that women are trying to take over males' roles in society. Again, not true. Feminists are not trying to oppress men. We do not want to take away opportunities offered to men, we want to share in them. We do not want to be superior to men. We simply want to be treated as equals- nothing more, nothing less.

By no means am I trying to force anyone to be a feminist. However, I want to make sure that people that choose not to support feminism are not doing so misguidedly. Men and women both have a lot to learn from each other. Feminists simply want to foster and promote this co-existence. Believing in gender equality does not make a woman crazy, nor does it make a man weak. Don't let false ideas scare you away from a goal towards which we should all be working.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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