Calling Me A 'Modern-Day Feminist' Is Not A Bad Thing, But Nice Try

I Am A 'Modern-Day Feminist' Woman And I Don't Care If You Judge Me

When did being labeled a feminist become an insult? Why does it feel dirty to call myself a feminist? Why am I so conflicted?

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There is a really strange stigma around women who identify as a feminist. Several assumptions are that to be a feminist, you despise men and never shave your armpits. All though some women may feel compelled to choose this lifestyle, many do not. Feminists have acquired a negative reputation to the point that it feels almost dirty to say you are one, but that should not be the case!

A few days ago, one of my male peers (who I've known for quite some time) asked me "are you a feminist?" and for a second, I stopped to think about how I should respond. Will he think I'm weird? If I say yes, will he think I hate him? Will I have to justify myself? I see myself as a feminist and I know exactly what that entails, but many people often see feminism in a radical light. I turned to him with a smile on my face and a modest, "Yeah, I'd say so" in which my over-thinking was matched with the "Oh, cool" in response.

See, the thing is feminism takes many different forms. There is the "radical feminist" who sees the patriarchy as the governing evil of the world, and the "modern-day feminist" who works to see equal justice between all peoples no matter their gender identification, race, religion, or economic background. Often, when people think of the word "feminist" they visualize the first version of feminism. To each is their own, but in order to change the stigma of what feminism is, we must focus on the second version.

Modern-day feminists do not see men as their superior, but they also do not see them as my inferior. Throughout grade school, young girls are taught alongside their male counterparts that women can do anything that a man can do. Sooooo, when did we stop believing this? A major argument against feminism is "women are just not built to handle the physical labor a man can, therefore they are not equal" and of course, some women are not built as large as men… but sometimes men aren't built as large as the "average man" either. Does this make him any less of a man? Heck no! Some women are built larger than men, does this make her any less of a woman? No, sir! As a society, we need to stop attributing physical attributes to gender to attempt to justify if one gender reigns supreme over another one… that is irrelevant.

Also, major news flash!! Men and non-binary people can identify as a feminist. Feminism is not strictly interwoven into being a female, but it is intersectional as ANYONE WITH A PULSE CAN BE A FEMINIST! The thought of a feminist of being a crazy woman is just not true… we all aren't crazy, and we all aren't women! The "modern-day feminist" fights for social injustice issues amongst all people and creating legislation to protect everyone, not just women, therefore, they do not have to be just women!

Ladies have proven throughout history that they can be as badass as the men (sometimes even more badass), so why does it feel dirty calling yourself a proud feminist woman? Feminism has taken some negative connotations over the years as the changes in the feminist movement have shifted, but the current "fourth wave" movement is one to take in pride. Being called a feminist today is not an insult. Today, being a feminist does not mean you're angry, or that you hate men, or that you do not want to shape to the societal norms that women before you have set, it means that you want equality amongst all.

The definition of feminism is shaped differently in people's mind, however, modern-day feminism helps to create justice for all walks of life no matter who you are. The stigma around being a feminist must change in order to rid the taboo of being labeled as one and create the equality we want to see in the future. If feminists are people who want to see improvement for the health care of minorities, for equal rights for LGBTQ+ people, for more women in high power positions, and many other things… then I am damn proud to call myself a feminist woman.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Problem With Men

The damage of toxic masculinity.

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Toxic masculinity is deeply rooted in stereotypes held for the male population. It's characteristics are a constant outward appearance of being strong mentally and physically, a suppression of emotion, and a violent behavior to assume a presence of power. The problem with men isn't men themselves, but societies reinforcement of these qualities defined as toxic masculinity. Nevertheless, men are still responsible for their actions and should hold themselves accountable.

Toxic masculinity causes problems for everyone, but it is particularly harmful to women. It is a contributing cause to domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. The United States has begun to recognize these issues and people have come together to fight them. What becomes overlooked, is the damage toxic masculinity has on men. The constant need to be strong and conceal emotion is extremely harmful to mental health. We cannot all be strong all the time, but that is the societal standard for men. This can be a contributing factor of increased suicide rates and decreased mental health in the male population. The need to prove power through violence could also be a reason for the overwhelming amount of men to women in the prison population. Some examples of the lesser effects of toxic masculinity are the assumptions that boys cannot play with dolls or like princesses, that men cannot wear dresses or skirts, and that men cannot be interested in makeup or clothing. This greatly limits individuality and outer expression for men. Girls have gained the acceptance to play with trucks or like superheroes, women can wear pants, and can be interested in cars or tools. There is still a long way to go for women, but for men, the battle for these simple things has not even been won.

Toxic masculinity stems from the fact that men are still held as superior to women. To show emotion, or to be 'weak', or to do anything that makes them akin to women will undermine their societal superiority. Inequality of the sexes has led to the issue of toxic masculinity and it all comes from prejudice and discrimination against women. To fix toxic masculinity we have to address the issue of perceived inferiority of women. Men cannot get completely better until the problem that births all the rest, is solved.

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