In the past few years, feminism has become a new fad, a “thing” of pop culture, right besides skater skirts, depression, and Ariana Grande. Girls are becoming more and more sassy, leaving guys astray. Not offering someone a seat because she just might not be pregnant and you would have implied she was fat? Not offering to help carry groceries because she will be offended that you think she’s weak? When did little acts of kindness become so complicated and controversial? It has gone from a respectful movement to straight-up out of control. I am here to present what feminism is not, and why chivalry is as alive as ever.
1. Feminism is not bitching at the guy who held the door open.
He knows you can open the door yourself, but he went out his way to do it for you anyway. Even with our heads held high, we can still accept the kind and even gentlemanly gestures — an open door, a “ladies’ first” signal, a helpful hand. Feminism does not mean men should stop being the kind souls they are, it means that they shouldn’t be exclusive. Anybody should be able to open the door for anybody. If you’re holding the door for me, I hope you are also doing it for the guy behind me. Turning down kindness for feminism is just dumb. So please say “thank you” the next time someone holds the door open for you.
2. Feminism is not talking about your period 24/7.
Anybody who has been through sex-ed knows that once a month, we ladies get a visit from mother nature and it sucks balls. We used to shy away from talking about it using its proper terms, but now we seem to have no problem with it. Girls are vlogging and tweeting about when they are on their period and how amazingly shitty they are feeling. It’s become something that we really want guys to know, so that they will understand the gruesome life of being a girl (oh sorry, I mean woman), and why we aren’t the weaklings they thought we were.
Well, I’ve got news, girl.
Complaining about pain does not make you stronger. Besides letting the world know you practice safe sex, it only shows how little you can tolerate. Cramps can get painful, but that doesn’t make you any more special than the other girl who is on her period. Take a Midol, change your tampon, get over it.
3. Feminism is not becoming a total anti-romantic.
With all the feminist vibes in the air, guys think they are off the hook when it comes to traditional conventions and old-school dating. But being a feminist doesn’t mean skimming off the romanticism. I still want to be cuddled and big-spooned into strong, masculine arms, and I should be able to say I want that without being accused of being passive/clingy/whatever. Protection is something all humans innately crave, and I reserve the right to crave it however I want. Just because feminism demands gender equality in employment and salaries doesn’t mean that I don’t need to be romanced. Hell, if you do a good job, I might even make you a sandwich.
4. Feminism is not slut-shaming.
Or any kind of body type shaming. I’m not saying feminist people do this, but I’m saying that it shouldn’t exist at all in our culture today. I thought we were living in a movement of gender/race/sexual orientation equality, helping people feel safe and at peace with their true identities. Stop judging other girls’ life choices and habits when we are all after one thing — to feel comfortable in our own skin. Why are we still bullying people for the way they look? Our ultimate goal is to not be subjected to presumptions and by slut-shaming, that is exactly what we are doing. A little hypocritical, aren’t we?
Bottom line is, if we want to be taken seriously, we need to stop taking advantage of the feminist movement to be rude to well-intentioned guys, to complain about our mundane lives, and to point fingers at others. When a guy is chivalrous to me, I feel like there’s still hope in the world. I just wished more people did the same. There’s no such thing as too many acts of kindness if you just stop giving everything a double meaning.