Recently I was watching the Today Show and they had a segment on the newest movement called “Women Against Feminism”. The title of this segment automatically angered me, all day I just kept going back to it, so finally I went online and found one of the pages dedicated to this movement. As I scrolled through and saw the various tweets and posts I became infuriated, and then I started to laugh, because most of the things I read were the definition of irony. As I read I realized the reason all these women believe they are against feminism is because they do not understand feminism.
First I would like to define what feminism is. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines feminism as: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”. That’s it that is feminism. Now I would like to quote some of the things I read on the WAF (Women Against Feminism) page.
“I don’t need feminism because I want my boys to grow up knowing what true equality is”
“I am anti-feminist, pro-equality”
“I believe in men’s rights. I believe in truth not propaganda, I don’t believe in silencing victims. Consent isn’t a game you can play.”
“I don’t need feminism because when I’m working in a lab I don’t want my co-workers to know I’m a woman, I want them to know I’m a scientist.”
“I don’t need feminism because….I want equality between the sexes”
Now after reading all these posts I can tell you exactly what these women think feminism means: Women are better than men in every way, women shouldn’t have to shave their legs or wear dresses or skirts or low cut tops, and if a man looks at a woman its sexual assault. The reason a lot of people feel like this are probably because when they think of feminists they think of extreme feminists. The feminist you’re probably thinking of right now is a stereotype.
I am a feminist. I also shave my legs, and wear skirts and low cut tops. I do not believe that women are superior; I believe women and men are equal. I am a feminist because women on average make 80 cents to every $1 a man makes in the same position. I am a feminist because companies are still fighting against insurance covered birth control. I am a feminist because society makes it so most women feel at FAULT when they are sexually assaulted. I am a feminist because I shouldn’t have to make up excuses when I want to turn a guy down, men should understand that “no” means no. I am a feminist because I feel like women should not have to go through life believe men are superior and have power over us.
I think the funniest part about this WAF campaign is that most of their reasons for being anti-feminist are the same reasons that other women ARE feminists. You see when they think feminist they think the extreme. But here’s the thing, there are always going to be extremists when it comes to basically anything. Saying all feminist are hairy leg man haters is like saying every Middle Eastern person is a terrorist, it’s ignorant.
In order to hate something you must first understand it. It’s just like how your parents made you eat something new before you could decide that you hated it. You have to learn and understand so you can form an opinion. So learn about feminism. REAL feminism, read articles, read books. Learn about the history of feminism, and how it’s progressed over time, what strides we have made. Check out #Yesallwomen, that’s feminism. Believing that men and women are equal, that’s feminism. So do your research, educate yourself, you might find that you have been a feminist all along.