"Oh You're A Feminist? So You Hate Men?"
And Other Misconceptions
If I received £1 for every time someone asked me if identifying as a feminist means I hate men, I’d have enough money to be able to create some form of scheme to educate everyone (particularly from older generations) on the vast difference between feminism and misandry. As it is, I do not have that much money and this is the only platform I have (I know my Twitter followers are bored of my feminist rants) and I like to use it for things that are important to me. So let’s get into it, shall we?
Feminism: is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes”
Misandry: on the other hand, is defined as the “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men (ie the make sex)”
Despite this obviously huge difference between these two terms, some people somehow remain confused, and I still meet people that believe lots of misconceptions and questions about modern day feminism. So let’s unpack those shall we?
“All feminists hate men”
*Deep breath* okay… no. Yes, I love women and believe that they should be absolutely equal to men in every aspect, all over the world. Note the word equal there. Not better than, not superior to, just as good as men. Why is that so difficult?
Feminism is a movement that is against gender stereotyping, which is exactly what generalisations such as “I hate men are”, and are therefore “anti-feminist”.
Aside from anything, almost all of the men in my life are wonderful and I completely adore them all; my dad, my brother, my boyfriend, my grandad, and my many many male friends.
That We Are Not Feminine
Yes, I am a badass feminist who likes pulling on her big girl boots and stomping over patriarchal and archaic ideals, but don’t think for a minute that it means I am not feminine. I shave my legs, I paint my nails, and I love dressing up and strutting my stuff in a dress and my favourite pair of heels as much as the next girl. And you know why? Because it makes me feel great.
That We Are All Lesbians
Do I even need to dignify this one with a response? Either way, I can’t because I accidentally rolled my eyes so hard they’re stuck looking at the back of my head.
“Men & Women Are Not The Same, So Why Should They Have The Same Rights?”
Well observed… obviously men don’t have vaginas so we are biologically completely different. However, we are all human, so why on earth are we not all entitled to the same human rights?
“Not All Men are Rapists or Street Harassers!”
I will be the first to say this is completely correct. But it happens so often that almost every man we come in contact is a potential threat in that respect. No, not all men sexually harass people - much the same as not all Christian’s are white supremacists. But a select few of them are, and that's where the danger lies. Rather than defending the actions of “not all men”, we need you to understand that “some men do” and due to that we have a right to be cautious.
“I Believe in Equality, but I’m Not a Feminist”
Whether you like the word or not, if you believe in equality, (sorry to break it to you hun), then you’re a feminist - regardless of whether or not you are in possession of a vagina.
That Only Women Can Be Feminists
See my last point.
“All Feminists are Always Unreasonably Angry”
Well, yeah we’re human beings and sometimes we get angry. Sometimes we get angry about the lack of equality for everyone - not just women- throughout the world. Sometimes we get angry about other things. However, constant anger is not an inherent side effect of feminism.
“Feminists Are Just Trying To Take Over The World”
Again, we do not want to be better than or to have more than men - JUST THE SAME AS.
“Feminists Are All Trying to Destroy Gender Roles”
Is this necessarily a bad thing? If young girls want to play with trucks and science kits, and boys want to play with dolls and dress up like princesses, who are we to stop them? If girls grow up wanting to be engineers and boys grow up to work in fashion or childcare, why does it matter? If a man and a woman are together and he wants to stay home and take care of the house and the children and she wants to go off to work and be the breadwinner of the family, why the fuck shouldn’t they? Surely there are far more pressing matters to be worrying about?
That All Feminists Hate Sex
Uuh nope. I am a steadfast feminist who loves sex and loves having the choice to sleep with who I want to, being able to choose my own method of birth control and to be able to enjoy sex and own my sexuality. Yes, we have come a long way since the days of being treated as property that is transferred from our fathers to our husbands without a choice. The days of losing our virginity on our wedding nights and with the sole purpose of bearing children. Yes we are now able to admit that we enjoy sex as much as men, but not without the possibility of being slut shamed in a way that men just aren’t. Due to this, still not enough women are owning their sexuality like men do, and I have spoken to far too many female friends who have never had an orgasm, either by themselves or with a partner, which is why this is a conversation we need to have.
“What About Men’s Rights?”
Um men in the UK have all the rights. Once women’s rights have caught up with you, then we’ll talk about the extras, kay?
“Woman Already Have The Same Rights as Men in This Country, What More Do You Want?”
Do women all over the world have the same rights? No? Well that's what we want. Yes, in the UK we are incredibly privileged to have the same civil rights as men (note that civil rights do not include victim blaming and slut shaming, but that's for a whole other post) and we should be using that privilege to speak out for women that do not have an available platform to speak for themselves.
Okay, I think I made my point (or 12) so to finish this post, I have one question for you…
Are you a feminist?
I’d love to hear your feminist ideals and, if you’re not a feminist I’d be fascinated to hear why, so let me know in the comments!