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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CUA chapter.

It seems as though some may be confused about what feminism is, and it tends to hold a negative connotation. To clear things up, let me remind you that feminism is simply, the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

I sometimes hear girls, boys, men, and even women saying, “Oh, I’m not a feminist!” However, what we don’t realize is that this is synonymous with saying, “Oh, I’m misogynistic!”

I believe a major reason feminism has such a negative connotation is because feminism is the one of few terms that refers to the equality of two groups. For example, there is no word for those who believe in advocacy of African American rights on the grounds the political, social, and economic equality to whites. However, there is a word for those who don’t and it’s racist. There are terms such as Civil Rights, Gay Rights, etc., however feminism sounds like racism, and anti-Semitism, perhaps a major reason why so many are quick to declare that they don’t believe in feminism.

So women, before you’re quick to declare your misogyny, please ask yourself, do you like the right to vote? Do you hope to be paid as much as your male equal in the workplace? Do you believe that if a woman has the ideals, beliefs, and morals that you support, that she is capable of being president? If your answer is yes to these questions and you enjoy and believe in your equal rights, you my friend, are a feminist.  

Here are a few quotes from people you have a heard of, and a few you may not have heard of to clear up the ignorance that surrounds feminism:

“Feminism is not a dirty word, it does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a bitch or a dyke, it means you believe in equality.” Kate Nash

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” Malala Yousafzai

“For most of history, “Anonymous”, was a woman.” –Virginia Woolf

“All men should be feminists. If men cared about women’s rights the world will be a better place.” John Legend

“If you feeling like a pimp ni**a, go and brush your shoulders off, ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off.” Jay-Z

“I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality.” -Beyoncé

“It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self.” Ryan Gosling

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, better working conditions, for safety in the streets, for childcare, for social welfare, for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, ‘Oh I’m not a feminist’, I ask, ‘Why? What’s your problem?’” Dale Spender

“We know that when women are empowered, they immeasurably improve the lives of everyone around them – their families, their communities, and their countries. This is not just about women, we men need to recognize the part we play too. Real men treat women with dignity and give them the respect they deserve.” Prince Harry

“…and if you still hate the word, it’s not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it.” Emma Watson

“Women saying ‘I’m not a feminist’ is my greatest pet peeve. Do you believe that women should be paid the same for doing the same jobs? Do you believe that women should be allowed to leave the house? Do you think that women and men both deserve equal rights? Great, then you’re a feminist. People think there is something taboo about speaking up for feminism. I know for a long time that I was embarrassed to call out misogyny because I was then going to be that complaining girl who can’t let it go. But the fact is, we can’t let it go – not until we feel like we have been heard.” Lena Dunham