Uncovering the truth about feminism

Anna Minton

Disputes regarding hot topics are very common today. Whether it’s t healthcare or immigration, a differing opinion seems to be the norm vs the exception. The topic of feminism follows suite. But ironically it isn’t a disagreement regarding the basic concepts that our nineteenth amendment covers. Today, there is disagreement within the feminist ranks. It is obvious to me that the topic needs evaluation and deliberation. So, let’s delve a little deeper in the misconceptions and facts that we know about feminism.

 

Feminism is defined as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Whether you know this by reading the dictionary, or listening to a Beyoncé song, the topic of feminism has deep roots.

 

Recently, many women’s rights activists have been broadcasted in a more zealous and vehement settings than most Americans are used too. While Madonna’s threats to “burn down the white house” during the Women’s March on Washington may have been intended to be a metaphor to overcome the patriarchy and establishment system, her message was lost. Her emotional outburst was seen as hysterical radicalism and can be perceived as just one of the reasons why the feminist movement is currently being questioned.

 

While evaluating the most common misinterpretations about the feminist movement from the popular website “Women Against Feminism”, I discovered some misconceptions about the age-old fight for women’s equality.

 

“‘Feminism’ is a predominately WHITE MIDDLE CLASS movement created BY and FOR white women…”

 

Interesting that not once in the definition of feminism does it say anything about race. Feminism is for all women, no matter what race. In fact, one of the main women’s rights leaders, Sojourner Truth, was a former slave who was a strong advocate for African American rights, along with women’s rights. Her “Ain’t I a Woman” speech inspired not only women fighting for equal treatment, but for African Americans as well.

 

“I don’t need feminism because there is no patriarchy! My male friends respect me, so I respect them!”

 

Just because you yourself have never been discriminated against because of your gender does not mean that there isn’t a problem. Throughout the world, women are denied basic human rights simply because of their gender. Who are we to claim there is no patriarchy when our sisters in different countries are refused an education, because the men in power believe that women don’t need to go to school? To say that there is no patriarchy is not only inaccurate, but displaces an imprecise process of the facts that there is suffering due simply to a person’s gender in this world.

 

“WHERE IS THE HUMANIST MOVEMENT???”

 

Good question: right here. Feminism is all about equality of the sexes- which spans to the entire human population. No matter what gender you are, what race, religion, or sexual orientation, you deserve to be treated as a human being. Humanism can be found in feminism, LGBTQ rights movements and Civil Rights movements across the globe. Humanism is the idea that all human beings are equal- feminism is simply one specific way in which we address the problem of human discrimination as a whole.

 

 

 

 

 

“I need feminism because i’m too stupid and weak to make men respect me without it. (And too ugly to control them.)”

 

First off, I am just going to assume that this person is being sarcastic here. Which is perfectly fine, as it proves a good point. Too many people today see the feminism movement as a victimizing movement, which in reality, undermines feminism’s entire goal. Feminism is based off of the idea that no matter who you are, you deserve the same respect as anyone else. Feminism is not about being afraid, but rather, being strong enough to stand up for yourself.

 

“I don’t need feminism because, I am a victim of nothing but my own bad choices. Someone disagreeing with me does not mean I am being attacked. I am capable of thinking for myself.”

 

Funnily enough, this woman basically just described feminism in it’s entirety. Women for years have been fighting for the right to be seen as intellectually capable, whether it is in school, in the workplace, or even at home. The ability to think for oneself is seen as a basic and simple ability, and one that sets us as human beings apart from the rest of creation. If women are not seen as capable of thinking for themselves by the rest of the world, then aren’t we seen as some sort of pet?

 

This woman also brings up another point: choices. Too often, women are pre-judged based off of their gender, rather than their actual actions. The main idea of feminism is for women to have the ability to make their own choices, and to be judged based off of their actions. Women deserve the right to think for themselves, and then face the same consequences for their choices as everyone else.

 

I am a feminist. I have no problem saying this, and I am proud that I, like many other women, have the ability to think for myself. And as a feminist, I will respect other’s rights to make their own opinion. Again, feminism is not about dictating what women say- rather, it is fighting for their right to say whatever they choose.

 

Whatever your opinion of feminism I respect your right to make up your own mind regarding where you stand on the issue of “rights”. All I am asking is that before making your decision, make sure that you are not basing your information on misconceptions.