What is Feminism Really?

Lesbian. Man-hater. Unkempt. Abrasive.

Stereotypically, that is the vision those unfamiliar with the movement have associated with the term “feminist.” The waves of feminism have accomplished more than society is willing to give credit for. Instead, they are perceived as a mob of angry women with misplaced anger who do nothing but set fire to bras.

Somehow, the skewed connotation has allowed society to continue to misplace the place of these revolutionary women.

Society has turned this current wave of feminism into something of disarray. Women Against Feminism and Ladies Against Feminism are both groups who are vocal about their stance on feminism. Ladies Against Feminism “encourage women in their God-given roles,” and promote a “beautiful womanhood.” A beautiful womanhood as opposed to what? When did feminism become synonymous with ugly?

It’s understandable that not every woman is going to have an extremist point-of-view, but is that enough to say that you’re an anti-feminist? Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott were compiling ideas for women to join together to fight the inequalities that they were all facing. I’m pretty sure the fact that there is an anti-feminist movement versus feminist movement is disturbing to them. Perhaps it’s in a woman’s nature to pit themselves against each other. There seems to always want to be one lioness in the jungle.

This miseducation of feminism tells people that rather than being an activist, these women are female chauvinists. It’s clear that the denotation is up for grabs as well. Apparently, all it takes is for you to make a song about how girls run the world, and you’re labeled a feminist. Disregard the songs you made in the nineties asking if a man could pay your bills. (Sorry, Beyonce fans.)

What is your definition of a feminist? Is it fair to thrust the label on women in the public eye? Has the rivalry of feminist and anti-feminist gotten out of hand?

[Lead image via Morganka/Shutterstock]

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  1. Golden Serval says:

    Feminism is a defensive measure taken by women against men who have declared an all out war against us.

  2. CessnaChick says:

    I definitely fell into that trap that if you were a feminist you were probably extremely butch and a man hater. I read Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman and I am very proud to call myself a feminist now. The fact there is a rivalry like that is just so ridiculous to me. It's just holding the female gender back and we're the ones doing it. It's sad.

  3. thecuriousalouette says:

    A feminist is someone who thinks that men and women are equal and should be treated as such under the law. That's it, people. It doesn't mean you're a bitch, a dyke, or a man-hater.

    My only thoughts when I looked at those anti-feminist websites you had the links to was, "This is why we can't have nice things."

  4. genderneutrallanguage says:

    All along feminism has promised the lofty goal of "Gender Equality". It has failed at this goal, miserably and in every way. Feminism is and has always been the nonsensical statement "Equality for women" (but equal to what trees? Men? Privilege?) The biggest success of feminism are hardly good things. Feminism has destroyed what it means to be feminine and called this a step to equality. Now women are trying to be men. Women are and can only ever be second rate men. Women need to be first rate women, not second rate men. Feminism crushed the rules of modesty and decorum that restricted female sexuality and at the same time promoted it's value. Feminism has objectified women by denying their ability to make informed rational choices on even basic things like Clothing.

    My definition of feminism? The delusional notion that a gendered solution will solve non-gendered problems.

    1. Kristin Corry says:

      That is a very interesting way to look at it!

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