What Feminism is Actually About

 

In highschool and early college, I would never have called myself a feminist. All the “feminist” media I had encountered was was what I like to call fake feminism: militant, man-hating, and not inclusive of women who didn’t choose to chase a career path. It was essentially trying to dominate both men and certain kinds of women, I wanted nothing to do that type of “feminism.” When I got to college and met my lovely Her Campus women, I discovered that true feminism is about equality and inclusivity. It is not about trying to dominate men, but work alongside them fairly and equally. It isn’t only about the women who want to work in the corporate world, but the ones who want to be a stay-home mom as well. I was missing this point for a long time, and I fear a lot of women and grander media miss it as well.

One of my biggest qualms of this fake-feminism is that I feel that often it tries to pit women against each other: “I want rights for all women, as long I have the most.” I certainly felt this as a young woman, and still see it. To be frank, woman often use “feminism” as a way to be a total a**hole to each other. Since they’re so “strong” and “empowered,” they can say and do what they want and no one can tell them no. This is not feminism. Feminism is a way for both men and women to join together for an equal and fair world. Feminism is supporting and encouraging everyone; even if their life path looks different than yours. 

Black Girl Beauty Landing Hero Image

Through my Her Campus gals, I had a whole network of strong, empowered, and inclusive women to encourage me in navigating college and soon post-grad life. All of the ladies in my network know that in addition to a career, I am wildly excited to be a wife and a mom one day and they support me in that. They don’t see it as less work, “a waste of my potential,” or “degrading.” I already love doing domestic tasks for my fiance, and through every domestic task that I do, I am empowered and supported. 

Most importantly, true feminism empowers you to love in the most ideal way. Knowing that you will be encouraged in doing whatever is best for your family frees you to actually be able to do what’s best for your family. “Menial” tasks like dishes keep the house clean, laundry keeps the house running, and food actually keeps the family alive. Whether it’s best for your family to have a stay-home mom, a stay-home dad, or a dual income family, feminism frees up judgements about those choices. Instead of worrying about what people will think of your choices, you can just make them. Feminism supports all lifestyles. 

Don’t be fooled by fake feminism; if it encourages hostility against anyone, it is not feminism. If it is degrading someone who has decided to be a stay-home parent, it is not feminism. Feminism is here to support all people in making choices that are best for them and their families; and giving that equal chance to everyone. With the support of women and men, we can have an equal society of empowered people.