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Feminism = Male + Female

Feminism = Male + Female

It’s a weekend of grandeur marching! It’s a weekend full of feminist puns and quotes on picketed signs! It’s weekend of empowerment!

But the real struggle is defining feminism and getting people to hear your voice. The concept isn’t about having a Women-Above-All mentality, it’s not a Females-Are-Better idea, but instead, it’s an Equal-Rights-For-All sort of thing. It means fighting for both females AND males. It means creating a neutral space where men aren’t superior to women and women aren’t superior to men, a space where gender is taken out of the equation.

It’s a struggle, though, for many to understand what “Feminism” means. There are lots of stereotypes and prejudgments made. The misconceptions really taint the image and idea of being a feminist. Here are the common ones:

1. Only Nasty Women are feminists

It seems the opposition has painted a specific photo of what a feminist looks like: a hippie, young girl without an idea of the struggles and responsibility of the real world. A woman who doesn’t shave and can be found smoking a joint, picketing outside of corporations. But, that’s wrong. First, I’m the nicest person around {and totally humble}, so obviously I can’t be nasty. There are some women who look like that and are feminists, but hey, that’s their style so keep doing you, boo. But there are so many other “feminists” out there: men, women, business people, teachers, scientists, chefs, old, young, completely shaven, with their own religion, ethnicity and lifestyle. There isn’t a set image. And of course, there are some Nasty Women.

2. Females can do everything men can do already

Alrighty, well, yes females have come a long way since the start of the civil rights movement, but the fight can’t stop there! Sure, women have access to more jobs than many did twenty or more years ago. But there are still a lot of physical and mental barriers to push past. People think diversity is prevalent because the boards of major companies have their one ‘token female’ and one ‘token person of color’. But, women are also over half of college graduates (about 60%), but only about 42% of the workforce is female (McKinsey, 2016). So obviously there are barriers. Just look at the highest paid jobs around the country – how many are men? I'll give you a hint: it rhythms with "shmany". 


3. Feminists are just trying to make themselves superior

Ugh, this one is so annoying. The idea of feminism is to fight for EVERYONE’S rights: female and male. So females can have the careers men can have, but there is still a stigma associated with some jobs that make it hard for females to do those jobs. And conversely, men have a hard time with some jobs that are considered “female-oriented”, like nursing, teaching, secretarial positions or being a stylist. The truth is there isn’t pure gender equality right now and feminism means fighting for men’s rights, too. Well, all but one man if you know what I mean...

4. You can’t be “feminine” and a “feminist”

Hmm, okay. So I can’t be a fashionista and fight for equal rights. I can’t wear a dress and fight for those who are treated unfairly. I can’t be afraid of bugs and still fight for those who are told they’re inferior. False. You can be ANYONE you want to be and fight equality. You can wear oversized t-shirts and march, or strap on your highest designer heels and march. You can have super short hair or hundreds of ringlets or a 7-ft braid. You can look however you want, sound however you, smell however you want and have whatever spiritual beliefs you choose. You can be a man, a women, both or undecided.

5. You have to hate men

Well, that’s going to be a problem for my future husband. Awkward. For the millionth time, fighting for female rights subsequently means fighting for male rights. So, feminists actually can’t hate men or else they’re fakes. Feminists work with men and will work with men until there is no division of power. But you can hate total d-bags - male or female - equality at it's finest!

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