I spend a fair amount of time on the internet. Social media in particular, and I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about the difference between feminism and misandry. In particular the association between the two. More pointedly, that all feminists hate men.
Let’s start this off with the basics.
The definition of feminism is the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
The definition of misandry is dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men.
People have been perpetuating the idea that feminists are anti-men, anti-God and anti-family for over 200 years! When, in reality, all the first feminists wanted was the right to own property and vote.
In 1992 Pat Robertson wrote, “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”
Feminism isn’t meant to bash men. It’s not meant to insinuate that all men are rapists, or evil, or that men today are single-handedly responsible for 200 years of oppression of women. Oh, and it certainly doesn’t include anything remotely resembling encouragement to leave husbands or murder children.
It’s also not meant to destroy chivalry. Yes ladies, you can be a feminist demanding equal rights while a man holds open a door for you and pays for the first date.
Feminism is easy to understand. It is the fight for basic equality between men and women. Nothing more, nothing less.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard something resembling, “I’m not a feminist, I’m not a crazy, man-hating woman, but I do think women deserve equal pay,” I’d have a lot of dollars.
Ladies, if you have made a comment or had a thought similar to this I congratulate you. You, my friend, are feminist and not a misandrist.
A lot of what becomes popular on the internet and trends on social media is the whole, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil’ thing. Those who are loudest will get the most attention, and unfortunately, crazy man-haters tend to be fairly loud.
This had led to a lot of misunderstanding regarding what feminism is.
Most feminists, myself included, disagree with the idea that women are better than men and think that it goes against the very principle of feminism because it perpetuates inequality – you’ve just changed the balance on the scale.
One other thing, feminism is also not about shaming other women. Here’s the thing about equality – it’s about having equal rights. Rights to make the decisions and choices that are right for you. You don’t get to call yourself a feminist while bashing a woman’s choice regarding her family (or lack there of), her career (or lack there of), her sexual orientation, religion, or anything else that would make it seem as though you are somehow better than her because your choices were different or you live your life differently.
We have certainly come a long way in the battle for equality, but with things like the wage gap still in full force and the fact that 93 years after it was introduced for the first time, there is still no Equal Rights Amendment – we still have a long way to go.
So please ladies (and gentlemen) never fear calling yourself a feminist and don’t let misandrists posing at feminist deter you from demanding equal rights for all genders.