Feminism is a global movement based on the philosophy of gender equality; it’s something basic – a subset of human rights itself. However like ANY big movement, it does not always present a unified front. This is to be expected from any movement with this many participants, people everywhere don’t have uniform ideas or takes on a particular ideology. This leads to other problems, and ‘wrong’ ideas of feminism amongst the non-participants, which mostly involve a huge section men and MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists).
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To some men, feminists are first world ‘intellectual’ jihadists who hold extremely radical views and are planning to uproot their ‘culture’ and family values. These feminists, according to them, are putting false notions of gender ‘inequality’ in the minds of their sons and daughters and need to be stopped before they turn society into a breeding ground for degenerates and everything taboo. Because these men, are the protectors of society; loyal guardians who shan’t let your ‘liberal propaganda’ thrive and taint the fine social fabric that the patriarchy has woven with utmost care all these centuries. Or…is this just conservative bullshit? I’ll go with the second assessment, it’s simpler. Let’s start with the basics. One of the first steps to solving a problem is recognizing there is one. Most feminism-haters do not recognize gender equality, because they’re just so used to seeing women being treated as second class citizens that women’s rights sounds like a hugely misguided intellectual endeavor to them. Moving past the conservatives who are beyond help, let’s talk about a large chunk of the liberal population who don’t buy into feminism.
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Ever shamed because you weren’t ‘well built’ enough to be called ‘manly’? Tired of the idea that the primary utility for men is to earn for the household, and failing to secure the bare minimum salary makes you ‘less of a man’? These constitute the male aspect of conventional gender roles, and they’re quite 19th century-ish and oppressive. ‘Feminism’ is an umbrella term which encompasses smashing gender roles, any kind of inequality stemming from someone’s ‘gender’, and getting rid of power constructs which allow for damaging discrimination. You might just quote Wikipedia and say, oh that’s not what feminism is, feminism just fights for women’s rights. That’s the base ideology, and the goal.
Suggested read: Common arguments against feminism and how to respond to them
But let me ask you, can you get rid of most gender biases without solving a host of other issues like societal expectations of men and women, cancerous conservatism, religious extremism (sections of almost every major religion in the world doesn’t treat women the same way they’d treat men following the same religion), economic gaps, lack of empowerment initiatives, etc.? I could go on. It’s a long list comprising of everything wrong with society today, all of which directly and indirectly affect our preconceived notions of what a man/woman should do with their lives. Focusing on the few misguided sheep who you might know as ‘feminazis’ and calling every single person who identifies as a feminist a ‘man hating lesbian’ is a childish generalization to make.
Take some time to introspect, and see the bigger picture. While it may be fun and edgy to hate on feminazis, you’re not doing human intelligence justice by being chock full of biases towards one of the most promising social movements of all time. A great starting point would be reading/watching Christina Hoff Sommers; someone who identifies as a feminist and doesn’t hesitate to criticize other third wave feminists and others who don’t really understand the concept of equality and privilege. This is in contrast to columnists like Laura Bates, who in my opinion aren’t what feminism should be about. Ultimately, no one will pressure you to identify as a feminist, and you don’t have to. Just step into the 21st century! 😀
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