This word often sparks anger, frustration, annoyance. And, I’d be lying if I said my first interactions with this word didn’t spur images of hairy-arm-pitted women burning bras and man hating.
However, over the last few years I’ve been educated in what feminism actually is. Turns out, I’ve been one all along.
Misconception #1: Equality means “the same”
Hell, fucking, no.
Men and women are not the same – and feminism does not claim they are. There’s a plethora of physiological and psychological differences between men and women. That’s simple fact.
Equality means this: if a man and a woman do the same schooling with the same marks, they should be be given the same opportunities with the same pay.
Equality also means that traditionally male traits (ie: strong, stoic, providing) and traditionally female traits (ie: nurturing, emotionally intelligent, soft) are on a spectrum and both sexes experience all of these traits. Where, when, and how often are based on social conditioning, circumstance, and people as individuals.
Misconception #2: Feminists are man haters
Nope. Nope. Nope.
Men are dope. Sure, there are shitty ones – there are shitty women, too.
What’s the issue? Here’s an example: Disney character men were heroes, while the women were damsels in distress? Yes, we didn’t realize what an influence this had on us at the time. But, that’s a problem men and women caused.
Now it’s been identified, and we can start correcting it.
Misconception #3: Feminists can’t be traditionalists
Wanna be a stay at home mom, with a hubby who brings home the bacon? Yeah, you can still be a feminist. You simply aren’t inferior to your husband.
Being a feminist means you can do whatever the hell you want without being judged for it. You know, like men.*
Don’t wanna have kids? Cool. Wanna have casual sex? Cool. Wanna get married at 50? Cool. Never wanna get married? That’s cool, too.
Think of it this way: if a man wants to get married at 22, or have 300 sexual partners, or never wants to have kids, it’s perceived as his choice. He “knows what he wants”, “a stud”, and “ambitious.” If a girl does those things, she’s “infatuated by love”, “a slut”, or “lying to herself that a career is important.” These things are definitely not her choice.
So when you see peeps like Karlie Kloss wearing Dior’s tee below, don’t rip on her for being a beautiful model and therefore not a feminist. Educate yourself.
*men benefit from feminism, too. This means we don’t have to raise boys without emotional intelligence. Men are allowed to experience and process all emotions, leading to healthier relationships – personal and professional – and lifestyles.