By Jake Lawson
There are a lot of misconceptions and assumptions that are commonly made about feminism, and, as a movement, feminism has developed a certain stigma. I will start off with the literal definition of feminism, a definition that the opposition misconstrues or misunderstands.
Merriam-Webster defines feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” The definition is simple and concise, yet it is often forgotten or overlooked.
Feminism is not the belief that women are better or should be held in higher regard than men, nor is it the belief that all men are bad people. It is, plainly and simply, the belief that both sexes are human beings, and therefore equals.
One of the most common misconceptions about feminism is that men cannot or should not be feminists. Now that we have covered the definition of feminism, it is clear that this assumption is incorrect. If you believe that men and women should be treated equally, you are a feminist, whether you like it or not, regardless of what gender you do or do not identify with.
Another assumption about feminism is that the feminist movement is intended to demonize men. While it is true that, according to One in Four USA, 98% of rapists are men, the intent of the movement is not to say that all men are rapists. It is not meant to express the idea that women are better than men, or that all men are awful sexist chauvinists.
The intention is to eliminate rape culture and anything that victimizes women or treats them as less valuable or less important than men. The intention of the feminist movement is to achieve equal rights between women and men; once again, plain and simple.
There are people who do demonize men, and then proceed to label themselves as feminists. They, much like those who believe that feminism is about “hating men”, are misinformed.
People who think that men are bad people are not feminists. People who believe that women are better than men and/or should be treated as so are also not feminists.
Feminists believe in equality between the sexes. Feminists believe that women should have the same rights and same privileges and same voice in society that men have. I believe in equality.
That is why I am a feminist.