A lot of you probably already know my stance on feminism. If not, I will briefly summarize: I am a feminist. I believe in the equality of the sexes, not the superiority of womankind as many presume “feminism” means. I am, like many other feminists, hurt when accused of the latter rather than the former due to misunderstandings and terminology that has a rather loose definition. So when I saw that #Howtospotafeminist was trending, I checked it out. It began with a radio talk show host, Doc Thompson, when he posed on Twitter:
— Doc Thompson (@DocThompsonShow) May 3, 2015
This immediately had an outpouring of input from those who had the notion in their head that all feminists were women, that they were man-haters who were power and attention hungry. That they were single, fat, unhappy and unattractive. That that they contradict themselves by saying that they don’t need any help from men and then ask for help. There were many more inaccuracies being spoken about in this hashtag, some of which are shown below. Soon after those who believe as I do that feminism is not a dirty word, nor is it misandry incarnate, spoke up within the hashtag, attempting to set the record straight. While I agree with trying to speak out about the misinformation being spread about feminism and its definition, as shown below, I also feel as though the term has adapted as many do during culture changes.
There are feminists who seek to put down men, to separate themselves away from them and even above them. There has been an outpouring of individuals who believe in this misandrist view and label it ‘feminism’. Due to this extreme perception of the world, the term “feminist” has changed from being a socially aware individual with or without an education, in varying walks of life who believe in the equal rights for the genders to being man-hating, female empowering hypocrites who have little to no attractive qualities. So let’s take a look at some dictionary definitions of “feminism”.
So if the dictionary definition is conclusive, why is it that our culture has turned this beautiful movement into something other than what it stands for? Simply because of misogyny and it’s very nature–as said by Andrea Dworkin: “Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.”
Not to say that everyone who has an alternate view on feminism and its definition are misogynists, simply that our society has raised us with certain ideas in our heads, undercurrents enforced through media and therefore becoming integral to who we become and what we believe.
So what should you do about this trending hashtag? It’s up to you. Is feminism a part of your life? Have you been misinformed? Do you want to push all of this under a rock because it’s too uncomfortable for you to talk about? Challenge yourself; tell us all how you feel about the term “feminism”, about the movement when it began and what it has morphed into. Tell everyone you can about what you believe–your opinion is important, no matter what that opinion is.
Want to learn more about the modern feminist movement? Here’s a few starting points for you: