I Asked 7 College Boys to Define Feminism, and Here's What Happened...

There are many common misconceptions about feminism and what true feminists stand for. It always surprises me when people claim that feminists have some agenda to take over the world, make men slaves, etc, etc. I was curious to see what the general understanding of feminism is from the standpoint of males in college. How do the males who are (along with women of course) the future leaders, thinkers, and workers of America perceive the values of feminism? Well, I sought out to find an answer.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes,” and Beyonce defines a feminist as “the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes,” so it’s fair to use this as a frame of reference.

 

“Feminism is the belief that women should be viewed as complete equals to men in society… Idk? I trieeeeeed.”    

18 years old (Austin Community College)

Yes. I appreciate the effort, and this is a solid definition! So far, so good.

 

“Sooo, I feel like feminism shouldn’t even be a thing because both sexes are already equal. It's basically a fight that was already won in 1920 with the women’s suffrage movements.”

20 years old (Crafton Hills College)

Ah, where to begin. Where can we find inequality between genders? Oh yeah! Equal pay, right to abortion, rape culture, sexual harassment, and female portrayal in media, just to name a few. I’d say that equality requires just a bit more than the 19th amendment.

 

“Feminism is the practice that women are completely equal to men in all aspects, but it has been portrayed at certain points in the eyes of men as a threat to their manli-hood so they degrade the movement.”

18 years old (Chapman University)

Not wrong, and an interesting point about men feeling threatened. I struggle with generalizing men because this in itself becomes another criticism of feminism, but I think this point is valid. A-plus.

 

“Umm…Feminism is when a group of women get together and complain about their situation without making any real effort to change it.”

Freshman (Texas State University)

I’m not exactly sure who hurt him.

  

“Originally a movement that advocated for equal rights for women, feminism is now used by people of a certain political leaning to bash men and demand to be found attractive when they’re not. Also, advocate for many other political ideologies that don’t have anything to do with women’s rights.”

Freshman (Texas State University)

Nope, it's still about equal rights. Shocking, I know.

 

“Women fighting for equality.”

Sophomore (Texas Tech University)

Pretty general, but true.

 

“Movement for women to be equal to men economically, socially, politically.”

18 years old (Texas A&M)

Ah yes! An active member of society or an active member of Beyonce’s fan club has graced us. Either way, he hit the nail on the clear, succinct, and wholistic definition of feminism.     

 

I found that some had small parts of the concept missing or misunderstood, some lashed out in defiance, and some had a fairly concocted answer. There’s definitely a divide between those who truly understand and respect the concept, and those who have misinformation.