Feminism and False Myths of Gender Equality

There are feminism myths all over the place. Feminism has been labeled as a variety of heinous crimes. Misconceptions about the cause as a whole are sometimes so ridiculous that it's difficult to understand how they came to be, let alone why so many people believe them to this day. So, let us debunk some of these feminism myths and explain what the movement truly stands for.

1. Feminism is a form of misandry (or, feminists hate men)

Let's start with a definition, because it appears that most people are perplexed by the basic meaning of “feminism”:

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Feminism (noun)—The promotion of women's rights based on gender equality

To be honest, this myth isn't even worth debating because it would be a huge oxymoron for a feminist to be a man-hater: someone who wants equality can't hate the people with whom they want to be equal. True, the presence of a few misandrist extremist feminists cannot be denied. But we can't rely on a radical minority to build a reputation for the rest of the movement.

2. Feminists are incapable of being feminine

Feminism is fundamentally about giving women control and autonomy over their bodies, rather than limiting them. The feminist movement is opposed to the idea that women must conform to a distorted concept of femininity that is socially acceptable. They do not, however, oppose a woman's right to act or look however she wishes.

3. Feminists are offended by heroism

Contrary to popular belief, not all feminists will lecture you on systematic oppression if you open a door for them! This myth is frequently used to claim that feminists are incapable of distinguishing between genuine politeness (or romantic endeavors) and pure sexism disguised as chivalry.

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I appreciate it when someone opens doors for me, insists on driving me home, or offers to pay for dinner—as long as they're doing it because they want to, not because they have to. At the same time, I should be able to repay the favor if I so desire!

4. Because it is the twenty-first century, there is nothing left for feminists to fight for

We've come a long way in the fight for gender equality, but if you look at any popular media outlet, you'll either see feminism discussed in a false light or the perpetuation of rape culture.

In other words, rape, victim-blaming, child brides, sex trafficking, genital mutilation, honor killings, infanticide, domestic violence, forced prostitution, and other crimes will disproportionately affect women.

Furthermore, men are being targeted by these social outlets, either by portraying them as wild animals unable to control their sex drive, or by spreading unrealistic and purely damaging expectations that affect their lives as well. Feminism seeks to eliminate both in order for men and women to live free of objectification and oppression.

5. Feminists are anti-marriage

It's difficult to pinpoint the origins of this myth. Having a desire to marry and start a family with someone does not change your perspective on gender equality. Marriage and equality should not be incompatible.

6. Feminism is advantageous to women at the expense of men

Do I need to remind you of the definition from the first myth? True feminism seeks to liberate both men and women by dismantling societal norms that harm both men and women. In today's patriarchal society, men are taught to be as emotionally disconnected as possible in order to demonstrate strength or leadership.

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These standards are not only unhealthy, but they are also socially and emotionally constricting. Feminism is inclusive rather than exclusive.

7. Feminists are insane

Here are some words that are frequently associated with feminism: “hilarious,” “crazy,” and “feminazi.”

Throughout history, these labels have been applied to women in order to silence them. It only reinforces the patriarchal notion that whenever a woman complains or raises her voice, she is not acting properly and should shut up and sit down. Everything a woman says is brushed aside as overly emotional, exaggerated, or “hormonal.” But this is not hysteria; rather, it is common sense.

8. Feminism is only for white middle-class women

Feminism has always been a multiracial issue. However, I fully recognize that white women and women of color may have different priorities when it comes to what needs to be addressed. We should accept this as part of the movement because today's feminist activists are women and men from all walks of life who are fighting discrimination.

If various social or ethnic groups address the issues that are important to them, the movement as a whole will be both inclusive and effective.

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