The ‘F’ Word – Feminism

By Nikita S.

Daniel Radcliffe. Emma Watson. Beyoncé. Mark Ruffalo.

What do all these people have in common? They’re celebrities, actors, they’re rich, and…they’re all feminists.

If anyone reading this is a feminist, then congratulations, you’re one of the few reasons I haven’t lost hope for humanity! If you’re not a feminist, you’re either one of these two:

  1.     A person still living in the 18th century who thinks women should not be allowed the same rights as men.
  2.     A person who doesn’t really understand what a feminist is.

This one is for the people who aren’t really sure. As for the others, hi! You might want to go back to your time machine.

If you look up feminism in the dictionary, this is what comes up: ‘The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes’, which basically means a movement that supports the equal rights of men and women. Quite simple right? So, everyone who’s practical should be a feminist. Sadly, that is definitely not the case. A majority of people are completely against this word. (Maybe this majority includes you too!)

The question is, why? Why do people go to such extents to show they’re not feminists? There are those people who even say, “Oh, I believe in equal rights, but I’m not a feminist.” Do they know how words work? If you say, “I desperately need some water”, and someone asks you if you’re thirsty, do you say “What? That word is too aggressive! I just really need water!”

People think feminists are those who start yelling because their math textbooks say ‘five boys out of ten are eating chocolate’, instead of ‘5 children out of ten.’ It’s a complete misconception.

The reason why people don’t clap at the sound of this word is – it’s so weirdly used in our culture. As the word contains, ‘fem’, everyone just presumes that feminists believe women are better than men, and no one bothers to check. Feminism has come to be seen as some sort of anti-men movement.

Now, I’m not saying that all people who call themselves feminists really do believe in equality. There are those few who go around saying that women are better, but do not confuse them with actual feminists. The word feminist gets so many raised eyebrows because nowadays, it is taken a bit too extreme. Misandrists calling themselves feminists make crazy demands, saying that all men are filthy and that the world is better off without them. So a person witnessing these “feminists” obviously gets the wrong impression.

Also, let’s not forget the fact that people think only women can be feminists. That’s like saying only colored people can be anti-racist, or that you need to be part of the LGBTQ+ community to support it. You don’t need to be in someone’s shoes to encourage them.

I’ve met people who are hesitant to call themselves feminists purely because, now, no one really knows what it means. We have people believing in equality calling themselves feminists and people deeming women better calling themselves feminists. So what should we believe?

Here’s the answer:

There’s this quote that I saw on the wonderful website of Tumblr: “Don’t judge a fan by the fandom, don’t judge a fandom by the fan.” Though this quote is meant for ‘fandoms’, it fits everywhere. Don’t presume feminists are extremist ‘feminazis’ who believe in the superiority of women just because a few do.

We believe in equality.

Don’t be ashamed to call yourself a feminist if you believe in equality of the sexes. You should be proud that you feel that a person’s worth should be measured by their mental skills and not by their body parts. What’s there to be ashamed of?

It’s even better if you’re an inter-sectional feminist; believing in equality of everyone no matter their race, gender, sexuality, or religion. So, be proud of being a feminist and don’t be fooled by the words of sexists.

At the end of the day, we were all born and will die under the same stars. We’re all human beings. Our specialty lies in our diversity.

So, embrace it.


 

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