Monday, February 25, 2008

Debunking the Feminist Myth

bad asses

When people hear the word feminist, most identify with the word on a level of pure extremism. Some can’t help but contort their faces into a horrified, “hide the children” expression. My personal favorite, however, are the questions–Do you burn bras? So you hate men, right? Are you a lesbian? How many abortions have you had? The list can literally go on for hours. But I have a secret for those out there who think feminists are all man-hating, bra-burning, soulless creatures of evil–You’re wrong.

The myths that revolve around feminism captivate me. They often make me burst into high-pitched giggling fits. At times, they even make me angry because of the sheer ignorance that people hold so close to them and the close-mindedness that they refuse to rid themselves of. I can already sense that this may be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this topic and I may be writing more in the future on feminist myths.

Feminists come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds and lifestyles; as does any “group” of people. Those who call themselves feminists or those who identify with feminists are simply the people who care about women and the equality of both sexes alike. They are those who care about the rights we, as people of both sexes, currently have and utilize and about the rights we want. It is a lifestyle–A lifestyle of caring, of standing up for what you believe is right and understanding the full humanity of equality.

For the record, feminists cliches are not always correct. The biggest cliche revolving around this movement is the one I am going to disprove right off the bat–Not all feminists are female! Not all feminists burn bras; although some do (and take beautiful pictures in the process.) Not all feminists are man-haters; in fact, many feminists are in long-term relationships and marriages and have families. It is pure discrimination to believe that feminism and homosexuality go hand in hand. Feminists can enjoy cooking and “being in the kitchen.” Feminists are housewives who do not work outside the house yet may have husbands who do. We enjoy sex–even with men! We are not on a rampage to destroy children, we don’t all hate children and we are not out aborting fetuses every chance we get. We are in the workplace and most of us are also in the home.

By the above examples alone, women have not abandoned their “past identities” such as cooking, cleaning and providing for her family. Women have simply grown stronger and have grown upwards in society and have fought for the right to be active and contributing members of society and to their families; that is something to applaud and to be proud of, not something to hold against women or blame unrelated issues on.

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Posted in: Musings | | 20 Comments

20 Thoughts on Debunking the Feminist Myth | Leave a Comment

  1. Jenny says:

    I’m not sure if I’m feminist or not. But this post made me figure it out a little bit…I still need to think if I am or not though. Just cause I think way to much anyway.

    Great post!

  2. Jenny says:

    I’m not sure if I’m feminist or not. But this post made me figure it out a little bit…I still need to think if I am or not though. Just cause I think way to much anyway.

    Great post!

  3. Mishie says:

    I feel the same way. The word “feminist” currently has a negative connotation, but in a few years it won’t anymore. Words have a way of changing over time. A few decades ago, “conservative” was a dirty word, and it has recently been replaced with “liberal.” Culturally defined words do that, which is sad.

    I count myself as a feminist, but in my mind that word means gender equality. I feel that a lot of things would be easier if we used a different word.

  4. Mishie says:

    I feel the same way. The word “feminist” currently has a negative connotation, but in a few years it won’t anymore. Words have a way of changing over time. A few decades ago, “conservative” was a dirty word, and it has recently been replaced with “liberal.” Culturally defined words do that, which is sad.

    I count myself as a feminist, but in my mind that word means gender equality. I feel that a lot of things would be easier if we used a different word.

  5. OX says:

    odd that I should come across this blog today. I just had a conversation earlier about the negative stigma attached to the word “feminist.” Many women are so quick to deny themselves as feminists as they don’t see themselves as man hating bra burners, when really that is not the true spirit of the word. good post!

  6. Jaleesa says:

    This is a good post. I think a lot of people misinterpret a lot of things that end in ‘ism’ because the face of each ‘ism’ is often extreme anyway. People don’t realize that, to varying degrees, almost everyone upholds the ideals of quite a few ‘isms’ or another. They’re based on thought processess, which is why I try not to spend too much time worrying about what I am or what I’m not since I know I could both ex out a lot and take on too much. Whatever I have to be for that moment, I am. I think if more people would realize this, stupid-ism would disappear for sure since that’s the only ism with no true redeeming qualities. :)

  7. OX says:

    odd that I should come across this blog today. I just had a conversation earlier about the negative stigma attached to the word “feminist.” Many women are so quick to deny themselves as feminists as they don’t see themselves as man hating bra burners, when really that is not the true spirit of the word. good post!

  8. Martini says:

    Good post! It’s good to let people know whats going on before they make up their minds based on false assumptions. I know that i’ll certainly be thinking about this.

  9. Jaleesa says:

    This is a good post. I think a lot of people misinterpret a lot of things that end in ‘ism’ because the face of each ‘ism’ is often extreme anyway. People don’t realize that, to varying degrees, almost everyone upholds the ideals of quite a few ‘isms’ or another. They’re based on thought processess, which is why I try not to spend too much time worrying about what I am or what I’m not since I know I could both ex out a lot and take on too much. Whatever I have to be for that moment, I am. I think if more people would realize this, stupid-ism would disappear for sure since that’s the only ism with no true redeeming qualities. :)

  10. Martini says:

    Good post! It’s good to let people know whats going on before they make up their minds based on false assumptions. I know that i’ll certainly be thinking about this.

  11. Margo says:

    So you’ve told me everything a feminist isn’t, and how many feminists defy the stereotype, but will you please define for me just what your modern definition of feminism is? Thank you, I appreciate being informed

  12. Margo says:

    So you’ve told me everything a feminist isn’t, and how many feminists defy the stereotype, but will you please define for me just what your modern definition of feminism is? Thank you, I appreciate being informed

  13. Moody says:

    Look in a dictionary Margo. The best and only place that defines feminism.

    I hear a lot of people say things like “I define this word this way.” or “To me, this word means that.”
    It burns me up when people give their own definitions to words.

    Anyway, this is from merriam-webster.

    fem·i·nism
    1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

    • Anonymous says:

      That defines first-wave feminism. Margo asked about today.

      You left out that the dictionary you quoted has two meanings, not one.
      2: *organized* activity on behalf of women’s rights and *interests*

      I’d say 99.9% of people agree with the first definition “equal rights of men and women”, and that’s first-wave feminism. Its the second definition that people are arguing about and split on whether they like feminism or not. Interests implies going past equal rights.

  14. Moody says:

    Look in a dictionary Margo. The best and only place that defines feminism.

    I hear a lot of people say things like “I define this word this way.” or “To me, this word means that.”
    It burns me up when people give their own definitions to words.

    Anyway, this is from merriam-webster.

    fem·i·nism
    1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

  15. Married and Loving it says:

    there are women out there who say they are tired of male oppression, though, who have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction, hating all men because one friend was raped. And most women who actually just believe that women should have the freedom to make choices about their lives, even if that choice is to love and respect a husband, wouldn't call themselves feminists. I'm married and have been told by numerous “feminists” what a traitor to the gender i am because i love taking care of my family. They forget, i think, that men are necessary to sustain life which they so freely discard before it has even begun, and that we KNOW that children do best (on average) when both the mother and father are part of their being raised.

  16. Married and Loving it says:

    there are women out there who say they are tired of male oppression, though, who have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction, hating all men because one friend was raped. And most women who actually just believe that women should have the freedom to make choices about their lives, even if that choice is to love and respect a husband, wouldn't call themselves feminists. I'm married and have been told by numerous “feminists” what a traitor to the gender i am because i love taking care of my family. They forget, i think, that men are necessary to sustain life which they so freely discard before it has even begun, and that we KNOW that children do best (on average) when both the mother and father are part of their being raised.

  17. Mike says:

    Hi there,

    I really liked this post but would like to give you a slightly different viewpoint. This is a male viewpoint (as I am a man) and it is also the viewpoint of someone who is currently doing some reseach into feminism, its effects goals and impact on modern society. I hope you read it and take it the way it is meant rather than as a criticisism or attack on you or your views (which it is not) because actually I agree with much of what you say.

    The problem I think comes from one of semantics. By that, I mean that different people mean very different things when they use the word feminism. I read on your site that you are interested in equality and (like many of my female friends who also consider themselves to be feminists) think that this is what feminism is really truly about. That it is about being proud to be a women, having equal rights and equal choices.. But, I am afraid to tell you that this is not really the case.

    Real true feminism (active feminism that drives public policy, that influences the spending of taxes, that guides educational programs, that changes laws, that impacts the court system) is not about Equality. It is about the advancement and progression of women and the reduction and demonisation of men. If it were about real equality it would not be feminism it would be “Humanism” (although that phrase has been coined by a modern athiest movement so we can't use it) but hopefully you see what I mean.

    Most women who call themselves “Feminists” don't realise this. It is a shame I think because by calling yourself a feminist when really you are not you are effectively supporting the radical ideaology that is against men (not just for women) and that through the perpetration of hundreds of lies some small (and many huge) and injustices has succesfully managed to get society (both men and women) to view “men” as aggressive, violent, sex mad, to be feared and controlled and “women” as caring, loving, self sacraficial angels (who are oppressed by men). It only take a couple of weeks of researching actual proper studies to see that this view is basically a lie when they are generalised to the population at large.

    Of course they don't come right out and say “we hate men” on their website because that would be way too obvious but the signs are everywhere – you just need to look for them. I would thoroughly recommend the book by Christina Hoff Sommmers (who stole feminism) or again by her (the war against boys) or alternatively to get a view from a man who was a major supporter of the womens rights movement (on the board of the NYWA for a few years) then Warren Farrells the “Myth of Male Power” is a very revealing book and gives you another side to what has been for 40 years a one sided debate.

    In conclusion, you are right, I agree with you, not all people who call themselves feminists are lesbian man hating bra burning psychopaths – but real feminists, the ones who drive the agenda of feminism are in fact quite a few of those things – and the things that those women do damage everyone.

    I hope you find this post interesting and I really hope you read Chritina Hoff Sommers book on the subject. She is ace.

    All the best

    Mike

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