I know, a click-bait title if ever there was one. But hey, it got you here, didn’t it? I have absolutely no problem with proudly declaring myself as a feminist, even today when it is thought that the feminist movement has died a quiet and well-deserved death.
I had a conversation with a woman about a year ago, and was surprised to learn that she wanted no part in the feminist movement. When I asked why, out of curiosity more than anything else, she exclaimed that she didn’t hate men and had no problem with them, so why should she be a feminist.
Here’s the thing though: I don’t believe that feminism has died any more than I believe there is a problem with feminism as a concept. I do, however, have a problem with certain people who call themselves feminists and completely screw it up for the rest of us with their ideologies. Here are a couple that mess with feminism as a concept.
Feminists want to be above men
I honestly want to laugh and scream at the same time whenever I hear this statement. I do not hate men. The feminists that I personally know do not hate men. We do not want to suppress men, nor do we want men to be less successful than women. I will proudly stand alongside my boyfriend and cheer him on, support my male colleagues in the workplace, and strive to help my male friends. What that does not mean, however, is that I find myself, my girlfriends or my female colleagues any less deserving of the same help, support and right to advance in their careers and lives. Girl, I work for my money. Do I think I’m entitled to the same wage as a male counterpart? You’re damn right I do. Provided we have the same experience, the same qualifications and the same drive to do the job.
Feminist vs misandrist
I’m sure you’ve heard the word “misogyny” being thrown around, especially with the #MeToo movement that took place in the recent past. In case you haven’t, misogyny is a hate, grudge or general dislike of women. In the same vein, misandrist is a prejudice, dislike or hate of men.
Now, I feel it is important to be able to tell the difference between misandry and feminism. Not all women hate men. Yes, there are women out there who call themselves feminists and make hateful, hurtful comments towards their male counterparts. Maybe they’ve been hurt, maybe they’re right, maybe they’re wrong. But let us not see feminism, and everyone who claims to be a feminist, in the same light as someone who outright hates men.
The #MenAreTrash movement took place very recently as well. And while, yes, I agree that some men can be monsters, the same can be said of some women. There are women out there who aren’t super great human beings, and honestly, they should be viewed in the same light. I think it is important to note that it’s not just women who can claim to be femisist. I know men like my boyfriend, my dad and my grandfather, who stand and support the right and equality of women.
Feminists want to run the world
I could include this with the “feminists want to be above men” concept, but I want to make a special note here: Just because you are feminist, and want the same, equal rights as men, want to be respected and well-treated, does not necessarily mean that you want a high-powered career.
Just because you are a feminist does not mean that you can’t be a stay-at-home mom. Maybe you want to look after your kids. Maybe you want to work from home, or spend your life helping out at shelters and want no part in the corporate world. That’s totally cool, you do you.
We need to stop telling women that they can’t be stay-at-home moms and support feminism at the same time. That’s not how this works. You can totally be a kickass boss-lady raising kids.
General take away message
In conclusion, I feel that the problem with feminism isn’t the concept. It’s a small part of the group that give the movement a bad rep. As with any religion, as with veganism, as with pretty much any other -ism, I feel that it’s the radicals, the “in your face” people that cause the problem.
We’re here to support women and help change their lives, and our lives, for the better.
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.