10 Common Misconceptions About Feminism You Need To Stop Believing In | Emily Bashforth

10 Common Misconceptions About Feminism You Need To Stop Believing In


Feminism is the movement changing the world. It already has changed the world. Without feminism and the feminists who have died fighting for equality, many of us wouldn't be able to live as freely as we do today.
But, sadly, people have a warped view of feminism, perhaps this comes from the fact that it's called feminism or from wrong representations of feminists they've seen in the media or just from the fact that they aren't as educated on feminism as they should be. Whatever the reason, not everyone understands the movement properly, leaving many to feel ashamed of admitting they are feminists and causing people to distance themselves from it as much as possible, which is ludicrous. Feminism is something we should all feel proud to stand with. It's ironic, really, how such a progressive movement which aims to change the world is one of the most shamed. Feminism shouldn't be one of the most hated words in the world. So, it's time to start debunking all the crazy myths and stereotypes surrounding feminism. We should all be feminists and, if you take the time to get fully clued up on what it is, you'll realise that the whole concept of being a feminist is A) pretty simple and B) pretty amazing. This goes out to all the feminists themselves with a twisted view on the movement and those who want nothing to do with it.

1) All feminists hate men
Misandry is man hating, feminism is not. Whilst some feminists may despise men, the true meaning of being a feminist is wanting equality for both men and women, not wishing to drag men down so women can be superior. Women don't view all men as chauvinistic, sexist pigs just because they are men and it's a shame that feminists are labelled as 'man haters' when they do call out those things. No, women are standing up for what is right, not attacking men personally. Make sure you're on the right side.

2) Only women can be feminists
Feminism is for everyone, it doesn't, well, it shouldn't discriminate. Just like one doesn't have to be an animal to support animal rights or gay to support gay rights, one doesn't have to be a woman in order to be a feminist. Feminism is all about equality, which everyone should want to bring about. If you believe in equal rights and opportunities for women and disagree with patriarchy and matriarchy, then you are a feminist. Men should be feminists too.

3) Feminists love all women
I remember in the 2017 general election people would say, "You're a feminist, shouldn't you vote for Theresa May because she's a woman?" Feminism isn't just about supporting women because they are women, it's about calling out and challenging anyone who enforces or supports the patriarchy in any form, regardless of their gender. Women can implement the patriarchy just as men can and can promote sexist notions in different ways. And, if a woman does something wrong, it's a feminist's duty to call her out for it in order to allow her to be a better woman and to create a fairer society for all. True feminists are all about dismantling the matriarchy just as much as the patriarchy.

4) Feminism is about oppressing men
Again, feminism is about equality, not about silencing the voice of one social group or crushing them until they no longer exists. Feminism is about creating a world where men and women can exist harmoniously as equals, not about ridding the planet of men or making their lives hell. Feminists do not want power or supremacy, just equality, that's all. It's about bringing women up, not dragging men down. There is no hidden agenda, here. Feminists are not a threat, they just want what's best.

5) Feminists are an angry, touchy bunch who just whinge and make issues out of nothing
If feminists are angry, there's a reason why. They make issues out of things which are affecting them and preventing them from gaining equality, they don't whine about things that they don't care deeply about. Feminists have been silenced and ignored for a long time so, sometimes, getting angry and moaning is the only way to be noticed. They've had enough. Also, feminists are people and, underneath the tough exterior you may see sometimes, they have hearts and senses of humour. If feminists ever seem uptight, give them a break. Fighting the patriarchy is exhausting.

6) Feminists are all have hairy legs, armpits and not wearing a bra
Whilst some women choose not to shave or wear a bra because they feel they have links with the patriarchy, they aren't requirements of being a feminist and, surprise surprise, feminists come in all shapes and sizes. Things like shaving and wearing a bra are sometimes seen as forcing unnecessary pressures onto women to look a certain way, which is why some choose not to conform to the stereotypes of what it means to be a woman. But, feminism is about supporting choice and supporting your fellow women with whatever they choose to do with their bodies, whether that's shaving, not shaving, wearing or not wearing a bra or other things. Some feminists are stereotypically feminine. some are more butch but, whatever they are, it doesn't make them any more or less of a feminist. Feminists aren't against being feminine, they are against women being told how they should behave because they are women.

7) Feminists are all lesbians
Again, that is true for some feminists but being a lesbian and being a feminist are not connected. Feminists are capable of being in heterosexual relationships too because, as previously mentioned, they are not trying to kill off all men. Feminism is about equality and has no links with sexuality.

8) Feminism only lives online
We live in a social media saturated society and spend a lot of time online, meaning it's easy to get caught up in the fact that feminism is just something of a Twitter craze. It isn't though. Feminists use social platforms like Twitter and Instagram to elevate their voices and to reach more people. Social sites have become incredible platforms for spreading the message of feminism and speaking out about social issues. However, a lot of feminists aren't even on social media. Twitter only has 67 million active users and there are billions of us on planet Earth. Whilst feminism is online it is also very much offline with many feminists working tirelessly outside of the web, protesting, marching, giving speeches and organising events which the internet may never hear of. The internet isn't fully representative of feminists and it's insulting to think feminism is only an online trend when so many before us have died in its honour.

9) Feminists just want special treatment
Feminists don't expect for you to roll out a red carpet every time they walk into a room, nor do they expect an easy life. There is a difference between privilege and equality and feminists want the latter. They aren't interested in becoming the superior sex. When things like the gender pay gap exist in society and women speak out against them, they are not demanding something completely unattainable or preposterous. They don't want privileges because they are women, they simply want to be paid the same and treated as an equal. They want what they deserve.

10) We no longer need feminism
The fact that people have the belief that we no longer need feminism proves how much we do, in fact, need it. Whilst some people may life in a happy, ignorant bubble, not all of us do and there is still a lot of work to be done. Inequality exists and acts of injustice are performed every day which prevent women from having equal rights as men. In some countries, women are still seen as second class citizens, women are turned away from jobs because they are women, women are raped, women are catcalled in the street, women are forced into arranged marriages, young girls are denied access to education, women are denied access to health care, the gender pay gap exists...the list is endless and whilst these things are still going on, feminism is needed. Until women and men are seen as equals and have access to the same rights and opportunities, feminism is needed. Living in the Western world, it can be easy to be blind to injustice but we must never turn our backs on those suffering.

Now go out into the world and be as unapologetically feminist as you like and educate those with warped perceptions on what feminism is whilst encouraging them to join the movement. Feminism is about shaping a better future for ALL.

What myths do you think we need to dispel surrounding feminism? <3

Love, Emily :) xx

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