A lot of people have the wrong idea about what feminism is

If you think it’s about female supremacy and hatred of men, you’re wrong.


Feminism has a very mixed reputation these days. When I mention to people that I’m a feminist, I’m usually greeted with something along the lines of, “You go, girl! Me too!” or, “That’s cool, I don’t know much about it though,”or even just get a straight up eyeroll.

This conversation normally ends pretty quickly with people who do the latter, not only because rolling your eyes at someone else’s beliefs is pretty damn rude, but because I find that they just aren’t willing to listen to me anymore, even when I’ve stopped talking about feminism.

These people think that feminism is bad. They see it as a movement that puts women on a pedestal and puts men down. I’ve even heard people claim that all feminists are unattractive, angry women who just want something to complain about – as if our appearances should have anything to do with what we believe in. More worryingly, this misunderstanding of the concept of feminism just screams a belief that sexual inequality isn’t something that legitimately exists. We want to be equal with men, not above them. You’ll know all sorts of inequality if you are a person of colour, part of the LGBTQ+ community, or a woman. That’s not to say that men don’t also suffer from the conventions of the patriarchy, it’s just that these groups tend to suffer more.

rebel rebel

rebel rebel

I’m well aware that feminism is seen as a very unattractive movement (we have certain parts of the media to thank for that), so much so that even women are choosing to distance themselves from it. When asking both men and women what they think the term actually means I’ve received very honest, “I don’t know”s, a slightly misunderstanding, “It’s a movement that’s about women taking revenge on men,” and then an appalling, “That’s the lesbian thing, right?!”.

We really need to get the definition correct. Feminism is a noun, meaning the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Translation? Striving for the rights of women without taking away the rights of men, until the amount of rights on each side is the same in every aspect of life, therefore making us equal. This is all we are asking for.

We are not trying to be malicious or evil, we just want to be afforded the same respect and have the same opportunities as your average male. Is that so wrong? The suffragettes fought for our right to vote (big up Roho alumna and suffragette Emily Davison), but there are still young girls and women in many parts of the world who are being denied their human right to an education, or having their genitals mutilated, or being used as sex slaves.

12910946_10154024193414356_941154757_n

If misogyny wasn’t as rife, and if the patriarchy wasn’t as strong as it has been in the past and still is in the present, these things wouldn’t be happening. These women need feminism. We all need feminism. Feminism is for the men who get told to stop being “gay” when they show even the slightest bit of emotion, it’s for the rape survivors who are asked by court judges, “What were you wearing, though?”, it’s for the women and men who can’t stand to go outside with a bare face for fear of being judged, and it’s for everyone who is too afraid to walk alone at night for fear of being sexually assaulted. We are all worth so much more.

I’m not expecting to change the entire world with my words, but to change the perceptions of the people who read this. Hopefully you will reconsider their thoughts about feminism. This is a worthy movement, one that is striving for men and women to live in harmony and equality. While we are all biologically different and have different strengths, our rights should be the same. We are all people, and we should all be equal.