It’s never shocking to me – the way people cringe when I tell them that I am a feminist.
When people think of feminism, they think of a bunch of women walking topless in the street, holding banners that say: FREE THE NIPPLE!
They think about the money hungry women who simultaneously want to climb the corporate ladder and throw men off of it.
They think about the brutal women who hate masculinity and want to kill Christian Grey.
They think about the women who want to grow their armpit hair because they will not be told what is deemed socially appropriate.
They think about the women who will shout at men for opening the door because they are perfectly capable of opening it themselves.
It is true that feminists have become somewhat aggressive in their quest for equality, but most of them are just trying to make a statement. Do you actually think they care that much about ‘freeing the nipple’ or relishing their armpit hair?
People are now reluctant to identify as feminists because of all these stereotypes in the media. I mean, who wants to be associated with all these crazy women?
But I still say that I am a feminist, despite the questionable looks I usually get when I do.
Because ‘Feminism’ is a broad term that stands for so much more than people realize. While people are preoccupied with women who want to ‘free the nipple,’ they often forget the more serious aspects of feminism.
Feminism does not simply represent the supposed ‘crazy’ woman who just wants to be able to walk topless, but also the woman who is catcalled, harassed, and treated as an object of sexual desire simply by wearing tight jeans.
They forget that feminism is not just about the ‘greedy’ woman who wants a raise, but also the woman who is a single mom, working three jobs, and trying to give her child a fair shot at life. But how is life being fair to her when she receives less pay than her male colleague?
They forget that feminism is not just about the housewife who wants her husband to do the cooking, but also about the girl who is forced into an arranged marriage with an older man.
They forget that feminism is not only about the woman who hates the movie we all love because it ‘objectifies’ females, but also the woman who is being raped at this very moment and can’t do anything about it.
They define feminism by what it pertains to in their social bubble. If the main face of feminism they see is the swarm of belligerent, outspoken women, burning their bras and hating on men, then that is the image that is going to stick with them.
We must realize that the most important aspects of feminism are not seen, but rather felt. The fight for feminism is the fight for liberty from pain. It is the fight for the women and men who are constrained and pained by gender stereotypes. It is the fight for human rights, and no one should be ashamed to say that they support it.