As you all may be aware we are talking about Feminism this week and I wanted to address an issue that is a major problem surrounding feminism: Stereotypes. For some reason people have a very distinct image of feminism and what feminists are like so let’s have a look at those stereotypes.
Feminists hate men:
Ehm yeah obviously, because we all love a god generalisation and that’s why we certainly believe that every man on this world is evil and oppressive. Like seriously? Feminism isn’t about hating men or the idea of men, it is about equal rights for both genders. It has nothing to do with hating one gender or preferring one gender over the other, it has to do with wanting females and males to have the same opportunities and rights. And just because you think it’s unjust that men are more likely to be paid more and you state the obvious that it is not okay, it doesn’t mean you hate men, you just hate the social construct of gender roles.
Feminists are lesbians:
This goes kind of along with the first stereotype, because I mean if we all hate men, we need to be lesbian, right? I mean that’s the only logical conclusion. This is one thing that I really don’t understand but that basically underlines the stupidity of this world. Like apparently if you stand up for yourself and others, if you are being loud and vocal about injustice within our society, that makes a statement about your sexuality? Like how are these two things even related? I am sorry but I really don’t get it. So once and for all: No, feminist does not equal lesbian, because our believe of what society should be like does not determine our sexuality in any way.
Feminists are all ugly:
Another one that makes me want to pull my own hair out. Your outer appearance has nothing to do with your believes, same as your sexuality has nothing to do with it. We are not all bitter because we can’t get a husband, we simply want to be seen as an equal human being and not just for our body parts. And I mean if you say feminists are all ugly, you, just as an example, just called Emma Watson ugly, so what is wrong with you?
Feminists hate families:
Again seriously? Why should feminists hate families? Being opposed to the general assumption that women should stop working and their only purpose is to stay home and keep the house clean and look after the children is a valid point. But just because people don’t like the idea that women are expected to stay home when they have a child and to give up their passions in order to keep a clean house for her husband, doesn’t mean that you hate families. Our society has progressed and luckily there are now plenty of opportunities for women to have children and work, yes it is still hard hence why we still need to fight for equal treatment. But we do have a lot more options. Also there are nowadays so many different types of families that you can’t even generalise this (I mean generalising is stupid anyways).
Feminists hate stay-at-home-moms:
Well this is related to the previous one and no, you don’t hate stay at home moms. Why should you. This is a simple point to answer to because feminism is about equality and getting to do what you want, every person should have a choice. So if a woman chooses to stay at home, that’s her right, it’s what she chooses, it’s her life.
Feminists are all angry and aggressive:
To be fair the only time I get angry is when people show me these kind of stereotypes. When it comes to everything else I’d like to think that there are always reasonable arguments for feminism to bring across your point. Also people get angry because it can be frustrating having to say the same thing over and over again because you are not being taken seriously, but no we are not all angry and throw darts at pictures of men we hate, we don’t hold secret voodoo rituals and again we are not sitting in a corner being bitter about no one loving us.
All feminists believe in the same thing
Sorry again, feminism isn’t that simple. Like a lot of issues it has been going on for quite a while and as in everything that is becoming a huge thing there are different groups within feminism that believe in different things. I looked into my notes from my one semester of sociology to find the scientific terms for the four main groups again (who knew keeping them would actually make sense at some point). So the four main groups that are being analysed are liberal, socialist, cultural and racial feminism. All very different, but that doesn’t matter because all people supporting this are feminists!
All feminists are women:
Yes that makes perfect sense. Because as I said before feminism is simply about women’s rights and has absolutely nothing to do with equality at all. All sarcasm aside: Feminism is about getting equality, so that everyone can do whatever they want. Just look at the teaching and caring jobs, you get more women because it somehow has become a female job. I have a male friend who got told by his father to study engineering instead of becming a kindergarten teacher because it was more acceptable. And feminism is tackling about this too. And just look at all the men supporting HE for SHE. They are all feminists and they are male. Some celebrity examples are Douglas Booth, Joseph Gordon- Levitt, Kiefer Sunderland and so many more who have stepped up to demonstrate their support for gender equality.
So basically what I am trying to say is that feminism is not what many people who criticise it think it is. It is about empowering, equality and a society where no person has to face the stereotypes of his or her gender! There is no typical feminist and there is no right way to be a feminist. There is only being you and you believing that you have the same rights as everyone else. What is an important thing to say is that there are no excuse to not be a feminist because even if you leave all your believes aside of what is right and wrong, if we have an empowered youth that is not constraint by social constructs we have the best potential to create a world that is better and fairer than it is now.
Also if you want to read about feminism in a fictional context, go check out Holly Bourne’s book series called the Spinster Club. I absolutely loved it and I am currently sturggling to walk around and not shout “That is sexist!” at People.
Check out Holly Bourne!
Let us know which stereotype annoys you most about stereotypes against feminism and if you have read Holly Bourne’s book at @castaway_minds on Twitter.