Renee Oliver

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FEMINISM

Renee Oliver

Fem·i·nism:

/’femə, nizəm/

(noun)

In today’s society, most people feel offended and dismayed toward the word Feminism, but refuse to try and understand its actual meaning and purpose in the world. People evoke fear of the unknown into hatred and spew negative comments to people who believe in equality and rights for not only women but everyone of all genders. Feminism is not about the hatred of men and the overruling and taking over of men. Feminists are not always angry, unattractive or not feminine. Not all Feminists are religious, not all Feminists are lesbians, Feminists do not shame women for being stay-at-home moms, and Feminists are not only women.

These are common myths and labels that most people put on others who claim themselves a Feminist. But here are the facts:

Women do not want to be more powerful than men. Hint at the word equality. Many people argue that men and women are already equal and they now have rights in the United States so why does it still exist? Feminism is about a broader spectrum than the United States. The world is so big and there are other countries out there in which women do not have the same rights as men. There are still issues of equal pay, access to reproductive healthcare, protection against sexual assault and violence, gender representation in the media, etc. Feminists fight for all women including people of color and transgender women. There are countries like Malaysia and Lebanon where women are supposed to marry their rapists, and if they don’t they are punished for the crime. There are women in the Middle East who are being shamed, scrutinized and even sent to trial because they choose to wear pants. In Malta, women can be abducted and as long as their kidnapper marries them, they do not get charged. In Nigeria, women are allowed to be beaten with no consequence, men choose when women get to work in countries like Guinea and Cameroon, and women in many countries do not get to drive and cannot get a divorce unless it is requested by the husband. Laws like this continue to exist; therefore Feminism will continue to exist.

“The advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.”

People should open their minds and their hearts instead of being hateful and bitter. Bringing each other up and being supportive of each other brings the world closer to peace. If you are a male, or associate yourself a different gender from male or female, you can still be a Feminist; it is not excluded to just women.

If you ever catch yourself saying, “I am a NOT a Feminist, but I am for equality,” don’t bother claiming the title. Feminism is about equality and love; do your research before bringing down people who believe that everyone should have the same rights.

Women’s rights? You mean human rights?