Feminist [fem-uh-nist] adjective; Advocating social, political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
This used to be a term that would be met with respect when heard by members of society. Feminists were women or men who fought for rights such as suffrage, the freedom to choose abortions, equal pay and anything else that would put women on the same level as men. Some people associate feminists as women with hairy legs and armpits who hate men. But what they don't realize is although there definitely are women who fit these descriptions, the majority of feminists aren't as radical. There are different types of feminism such as liberal, socialist, and even eco-feminism to name a few. They all have different perspectives or ways of approaching the fight for equality, but their overall agenda is the same.
I would argue that today feminism has taken a turn for the worst. When Beyonce made the public proclamation that she was a feminist, new "feminists" came out of the wood works. And these aren't the same feminists who rally around other celebrities like Emma Watson. Instead of focusing on equality, women today associate being a feminist as being above men. They believe that us women would almost be better off without them.
In my opinion, the worst type of modern feminists are those who think it is appropriate to display their bodies for the world to see without any repercussions or backlash. Yes, a woman's body is beautiful, but it is also sacred. Posting pictures of you frolicking in the woods with no clothes on is not only devaluing your temple but it's also probably unsanitary, too.
I was raised to believe in gender roles. In my mind, there are certain things women should do and there are certain things men should do. However, that doesn't mean women are forbidden to do the tasks that are "assigned" to men. I used to say I wasn't a true feminist because the things I believed in were polar opposite of what modern feminists were proclaiming on social media.
That's where the problem lies. Women and men today spend so much time listening and paying attention to what modern day feminists say, they are forgetting the true definition of feminism. Equality. Feminism is not about belittling men and taking off our clothes. Although the definition is always changing depending on the day, feminism is ultimately about being on the same playing field as men in our social, political, legal and economic lives.
Please do not feel like you have to fit in the mold of modern feminism in order to call yourself a true feminist. It's okay to believe in gender roles but still want equality. Yes, it sounds like a contradiction but feminism is a lot deeper than that. Do your research and stop trying to fit in with the rest of the modern "feminists" who are making feminism look like a joke.