With the ongoing #MeToo movement, the discussion of feminism has been more prominent than ever! This includes the onslaught in the media against women who see themselves as modern-day feminists. And this isn't something that is considered new either.
Since the 1920s when the women's rights movement sparked the idea of feminism, other people in the media have attacked the idea. Even before the #MeToo movement, there have been people in the media who have in the last decade attacked feminists.
What makes it worse is that from the attack comes many different misconceptions about feminism. The most common misconceptions are about the definition of feminism, the belief that there is only one set of ideas regarding feminism and (my most favorite one) the idea that feminism isn't needed anymore in today's society.
For people who believe that feminism isn't needed anymore, there are so many reasons that I could list about why feminism is important today. In fact, I could probably write a 10-page paper on all of the reasons why feminism is still important! Even though things have improved in the last decade where women can now be hired for a job or go to college, there are still a lot of things that haven't improved. Like the fact that women have to keep their keys close and have pepper spray in the other hand or be taught to avoid walking alone anywhere at night. Or the fact that women still have lower paying jobs than men.
There are some people who may make statements such as, "Well, at least women can get a job." But what's the point of having a job if you can barely afford to support yourself or pay bills? Women work hard in the workforce or even find a job that they love and still find themselves underpaid compared to men. No, things have not improved much in some areas. And it's not just women who have not seen much improvement in certain aspects.
This follows my next point. A lot of people both in the media and outside the media do not understand the definition of feminism. They confuse the term with another term. Feminism does not mean the belief that women are better than men. Yes, you heard me right. It has nothing to do with the idea that women are more powerful than men. It is about gender equality. The definition of feminism is that all genders whether it's men, women or LGBT groups are equal.
Feminism can be included for men too. There are a lot of inequalities that men can face in today's society such as the idea of toxic masculinity or limiting men to certain jobs. These issues are considered important and included in the idea of feminism. So, for anyone who thinks that feminism is all about women thinking they're better than men, if you did more research over the term, you would realize that feminism is much broader than you think.
Another thing is that many people have misconceptions that feminism only includes one set of beliefs. However, it doesn't. Feminism does not include a rule book. This is something that I feel a lot of people, both men and women, become confused over. According to The Tab, "The idea that feminism is a sleepover, a sorority where everyone is best friends in a group chat of life is ridiculous and it stunts our growth. We are allowed to have a conversation." In other words, feminism is not exclusive. It's an idea that brings people together into the discussion over gender equality. It's open to interpretation.
Now, I'm not cutting anyone down if they have these misconceptions about feminism. In fact, before I took women's studies, there were a lot of misconceptions that I had about feminism! It's very easy to have these misconceptions when you don't understand what feminism really means. It can be confusing, especially if you've only learned about the term through the media. However, it's important that we are able to break these misconceptions. Feminism is such an important concept in today's society and is not something that we should ignore.
Feminism is a common-sense idea. It's something that most women probably agree with but may not know about it. It's not something we should hide from either. Rather it is something that we should discuss in our society where the issue over gender equality has been more relevant than ever.