“I am a feminist!” You might have heard these words quite often, especially in recent times. Everyone pitching in with their own opinions pile up myths about feminism. Its time to bust these myths about feminism. However, in many cases, people are very confused about what feminism is. So first, let’s sort that out.
What is feminism?
Feminism simply means equality for all genders. By equality, we mean equal opportunities, equal pay, equal rights, everything.
It means that you can take any two random people of any race, religion, class, age, sexual orientation, gender, and religious beliefs, and they are equal. Activism and advocacy for such equality is the essence of feminism.
Why is feminism misunderstood?
The word “feminism” is deeply linked to “female”. It is actually a tool for empowering women and making them equal to men.
However, many men (and women as well) see it as a threat. They consider feminism to be discriminatory against men. Whereas, feminists actively strive to level the playing field.
Feminists understand the different traits of men and women and in no way want one gender to surpass the other.
Why feminism is important?
Everyday, in families around us, we see patriarchal pressure pushing down women. We see men not able to express their feelings. Salaries of women are considerably less than their male counterparts. People of LGBTQIA community lose out on opportunities because of their sexual preference. Or transgenders being shunted aside, never being offered equal opportunities, reduced to begging on the streets. There’s also a mother-in-law needling her daughter-in-law about her religious beliefs.
This is why feminism is important!
Most common myths around feminism and the facts:
1. Women are leading in every field; what’s the use of feminism?
Fact: While a few women are leaders, a majority of people holding higher ranks are males. Women naturally undergo many changes in their lives. Some move after marriage. Childbirth also makes them take a break on their career. If they have no support, it often takes women quite a lot of time to return to the workforce, if at all. Men do not face such breaks, usually.
2. Feminism means hating men
Fact: Quite the opposite. Feminism does not mean hating men. It simply means leveling the playing field for both men and women.
3. Feminists are angry
Fact: Not all feminists are angry, just like no two persons are alike. Most feminists are common people like you.
4. Feminists are females
Fact: A male or a transgender can be a feminist too. In general, a person who believes in equality for all is a feminist.
5. Feminists are career-oriented and do not pay attention at home
Fact: Feminism is pro-choice as long as the choice you take is informed. As long as a person takes a decision out of his/her own will, whether career or stay-at-home, feminists don’t have any issue.
6. Feminists are ugly and hairy, not feminine
Fact: Did you know that most actresses are feminists too? There is absolutely no connection between looking good and being a feminist.
7. Feminists hate God
Fact: Feminists can be religious, god-fearing, agnostic, or atheistic. What makes them feminists is that even when they believe one aspect, they do not judge others for their choices.
There are many more misconceptions about feminism and feminists, but these are the most common ones.
Do share your views on ‘myths about feminism’ here!
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