The word "feminism" has become very common in casual conversations now. However, the downside is that many people have completely misunderstood the word. So, what does feminism mean? Is it a movement against men? Are feminists women who hate men? Does feminism aim to establish a matriarchal society? The answer is no. So, what is feminism? Feminism, simply put, is fighting for equal rights and opportunities for all genders. Feminism is concerned not just with women but about humankind as a whole, men and women alike. And yet, even as 2022 is about to end, "feminism" is a word that many people are hesitant to associate with. People would rather say that they believe in "gender equality" than use the term "feminism." Why is there this hatred and misconception about the concept? Let’s explore.
Feminism is often misunderstood and hated because many people believe it to be a fight for female dominance. There are a lot of myths about feminism doing the rounds that portray feminism in a bad light. Feminism is feared and hated by many people because misogynistic societies have a system of oppressing women. When women are breaking free from that control and dominance, and when women challenge the patriarchal system, the oppressors are offended. And that led to myths being fabricated. This upcoming year, let’s not despise feminism due to several misconceptions and understand what feminism truly is.
Busting myths about feminism
Feminism is the equivalent to male chauvinism and patriarchy
Feminism demands equal rights and opportunities for women. The intention is not to be superior to men in any way but to just want to be treated as equals. Feminism does not aim to establish matriarchy or female dominance.
Feminists are men-haters
Feminists only ask that women be treated as equals in all aspects of life. They do not believe that all men are male chauvinists and sexists. Feminists are only against patriarchy, misogyny, and sexism. Feminists only oppose the notion that men are superior and women are subservient.
Feminism is detrimental to men
Men tend to feel endangered and raise their guard as soon as they hear the term "feminism." Although the main motive of feminism is to fight for the equality of women, it also aims to shatter the stereotypes that are detrimental to men as well. So, basically, feminism is a fight against all the stereotypes, stigmas, and gender norms that are enforced by the patriarchy.
Only women can be feminists
People of any gender who believe in the equality of all genders are feminists. There are so many male feminists in today's world who are actively supporting and advocating feminism.
Feminists are against the concept of marriage
Believing in the institution of marriage is a personal choice and has nothing to do with feminism. Feminists do wish to get married, but they do not succumb to societal pressure and put up with an unhappy, toxic, or abusive marriage.
Feminists do not choose motherhood/parenthood
Again, choosing to have a child is a personal choice. Feminists are parents who raise their children without the influence of patriarchy.
Feminists do not embrace femininity
Feminists do not necessarily dress up in denim and shirts or have short hair. They do love to dress up in traditional outfits, wear make-up and jewellery, cook, and take care of the family. It’s just that they do it if and when they want to, not because it’s forced upon them by society.
Feminists misuse the privileges and reservations given to women
Feminists don’t want to take the easy way to the top. They just want society to treat them as equals to their male counterparts. A lot of times, women face rejection and are denied chances just because of their gender. The prevalence of the gender pay gap, disparities in equal representation, lack of access to education and employment, inadequate healthcare, and lack of safety justify why women fight for equality.
Feminists are short-tempered, sensitive, and hysterical
It is a common misconception that feminists make a huge issue out of trivial matters. No, we don’t. They are unafraid to speak and voice their opinion when needed. They are ambitious, independent women with big dreams. And when patriarchy tries to hold them down, they speak up. They raise their voices not just for themselves but for everyone who faces injustice.
Let 2023 be a year with a positive outlook and fresh perspective towards feminism because it is nothing but gender equality. The existence of patriarchy necessitates the existence of feminism. We need to realise that the enemy here is patriarchy, men and women alike, and stop resenting feminism. It is more likely to achieve an equal society soon if more of us participate in the fight against patriarchy.