10 Common Misconceptions about Feminism
These past few weeks there has been a surge in photos with people who are saying that they don’t need feminism. Even cats got in on the whole thing and hundreds of photos of cats saying why they don’t need feminism have been uploaded to Tumblr. We, here at 10Awesome think the world needs feminism and it needs it badly. A while back we talked about some common myths about mammograms and now it’s time we took a look at some common misconceptions about feminism. Read on and enjoy!
10. Feminists Fight for Superiority, not Equality
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, feminism is ‘the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities’. It is not an attempt for women to take over the world, but just to get their well-deserved place at the table. So stop thinking that feminists want to take over the world!
9. Feminists are Angry Killjoys
This is only partly a misconception. Many feminists are nice pleasant people. But if you look at all the types of oppression, from domestic abuse to street harassment to pay gap, it is pretty difficult (if not impossible) not to be an angry killjoy.
8. Feminists are Sluts
Many kinds of feminism are sex positive, so they promote a healthy open relationship with one’s sexuality, desires and libido. But that does not promote being sexually promiscuous per se – it just encourages women to be in touch with their desires and act accordingly and responsibly, whether that means being abstinent or very active.
Feminism also stands strong against slut-shaming and double standards according to which a sexually active woman is a slut, while a sexually active man is a stud.
7. Feminists Despise ‘Feminine’ Women
Wearing dresses, high heels, make up, long hair have been controversial among feminists for a while now. Some feminists believe that this kind of ‘feminine presentation’ is a reflection of patriarchal oppressive standards of beauty women feel obliged to fit into. But many other feminists acknowledge the importance of reclaiming the ‘feminine’ expressions, of women’s agency in choosing what they wear and how they identify, of not considering ‘feminine’ less valuable than ‘masculine’ or ‘androgynous’. So feminism is and should be pro-femme.
6. Feminists are Transexclusionary
One of the most common misconceptions about feminism is that feminists exclude transwomen. While there are still feminist groups which exclude transwomen from their activities, those are exceptions. Feminism should be and is inclusive!
5. Feminists are Lesbians
This misconception started out in the 70s, when many feminists turned their backs to their oppressive hetero relationships and welcome same-sex relationships to their lives, hoping these will be more equal. As sexism is alive and kicking in all sorts of relationships, they proved wrong. So not all feminists are lesbians, just some of them.
4. Feminists are Hairy
No! They are not! Feminists only support the idea that hair removal should be optional, for both men and women. Thus, many feminists choose to keep removing their hair, while others do not. It’s simply a matter of personal choice, the way it should be for everyone else, not just for feminists.
3. Feminists are against Being Stay-at-Home Moms
Feminism is about choice! Women should be able to choose which path works best for them and not take certain roles just because they are assigned to their gender. Thus, if staying home and taking care of your kids is your choice, feminism is there for you! You go, girl!
2. Feminists are Only Focused on Women’s Rights
While feminism does indeed mostly focus on women’s rights, it also takes into account the intersections of various oppression affecting women, men and transpeople. Thus, LGBT rights, civil rights, labor rights, environmental issues and many more ARE feminist issues.
1. Feminists Hate Men
Actually, feminists do not hate men. They hate sexism and patriarchy. See the difference? Feminism actually stands in solidarity with men and men’s rights, by promoting more flexible inclusive models of masculinity, which allow men to be more involved in parenting and other activities which are not generally considered masculine. Feminism also rejects the idea that men are sexual predators who can get triggered to rape by women’s outfits, thus giving them more credit than the mainstream society does.
What are your thoughts on these common misconceptions about feminism? Would you like to add anything to our list? Do you agree with these? Drop us a line in the comment section below and let us know what you think! We love hearing from our readers.