We live in contentious times, where people around the world are seeing first-hand how important it is to take a social stand. As a result, the feminist movement is in the spotlight more than ever. And as it is with anything that threatens to buck the system, many people fear the changes that feminists stand for. So, misconceptions about the movement might be poisoning the well and preventing people who believe in its principles from identifying as feminists.
We’re here to dispel false notions about feminists and feminism, and to educate readers about what they truly mean/represent.
Feminists Do Not Hate Men
Those attempting to undermine the movement try to paint feminists as callous man-haters. This idea really couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, the principles of feminism dictate that women won’t put up with inappropriate conduct from men. But that doesn’t necessitate any amount of loathing.
Also, just because somebody is a man doesn’t mean we think they’re a proponent of the patriarchy.
Sexual Preferences and Orientation Have Nothing to Do with Feminism
Of course, members of the LGBTQ community could be feminists if they so chose. But just because someone is LGBTQ doesn’t necessarily mean they are feminist. But feminism welcomes anybody with open arms who is looking to topple the patriarchy.
Feminists Know the Difference Between Chivalry and Chauvinism
Feel free to buy a feminist dinner or hold the door open for her. Just don’t expect something more in return. When men choose to be chivalrous, it’s a matter of being polite and showing good values. When these actions are done under any kind of pretense, that’s when it becomes chauvinism.
Furthermore, just because a man doesn’t catcall, hoot, and holler at women, doesn’t mean he isn’t a chauvinist. Chauvinism is a deeply ingrained belief that men are superior to women, and it manifests itself in many ways.
Feminism Wants Women to Follow Their Dreams
The only thing the feminist movement wants for women is for them to be unobstructed by inequality—nothing else. Whether women want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or would prefer being a stay at home mom, feminism wants the choice to be of their own volition. Not because somebody told them that it was the only choice they had.
Feminists Support Women
Some people think that feminism exists to judge women—this is 100% incorrect. The reality is quite the opposite, in fact. The primary focus of the movement is giving women the support they deserve. We don’t want to tell women they need to act a certain way. Instead, we want to let them know how wonderful, strong, and smart they are, and to be proud of their accomplishments.
Feminism Isn’t Competing with Men
Seeking equality and fair treatment is drastically different from trying to be superior in any way. Yet, many naysayers try to act like feminists think they’re ‘holier than thou’ when compared to men. Expecting respectful behavior towards us isn’t the same as seeking some form of dominance.
Feminism Doesn’t Automatically Support Abortion
While feminism is pro-choice, not all feminists will have an abortion in their lifetime. Many feminists will actively choose against having an abortion in a situation where it’s an option.
There’s a difference between pro-choice and pro-abortion. Feminists believe that women ought to have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies. And we also don’t think that it’s fair for a group of powerful males to decide whether women should have governance over their own bodies.
Conclusion: Don’t Paint Feminism with a Brush of Misconception and Preconceived Notions
Feminists don’t fit the stereotypes people read in the news or on social media. And if you agree with the above principles, it means you’re most likely a feminist at heart.