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8 Myths About Feminism You Should Stop Believing

1.    You have to be a woman to be a feminist

WRONG. Anyone can be a feminist regardless of gender, sexuality, race, etc. Being a feminist simply means that you believe every individual should have equal rights. How many times do we have to repeat this?

2.    Feminists are angry at the world

Actually, feminists can be very happy people. We might become irritated when others try to deny us basic human rights and tell us that a certain category of people deserves happiness or wealth more than others. Feminism makes people happier! We choose to surround ourselves with awesome feminist friends.

 

3.    Feminists hate men

FALSE. Do we like when men try to oppress women and take away their right to make choices for their own body? Absolutely not, but that doesn’t mean that we hate men in general. Some feminists love men. All feminists know men.

4.    Feminists are all lesbians

Feminists can be of any sexual orientation… So sure, there are some lesbian feminists, but there are plenty of feminists that aren’t. Feminists identify as heterosexual, homosexual, everything and anything in between.

5.    Feminists don’t want to get married or have children

There is an entire generation of feminist parents working to change the world their children are growing up in. Increasing opportunities for children allows them to grow up feeling safe and comfortable with their own identity. Many people who want the best for their children self identify as feminists.

6.    Feminists neglect personal hygiene and never shave

Where do people come up with this stuff? Sure, some feminists don’t believe in conforming to the insane beauty standards that have been created by our society, but that doesn’t mean we don’t use soap and deodorant.

7.    Feminist beliefs only benefit women

A world that is good for feminists is good for everyone! Many scholars, including feminist scholars, have begun addressing how hypermasculinity operates in men’s lives in“Masculinity Studies.” Feminism is a holistic discipline that examines how gender operates in everyone’s lives.

8.    Feminism is irrelevant

American women have made incredible strides in the last century… but that doesn’t mean that women in America and across the globe aren’t facing oppression any longer. We have to continue to work toward greater equality and freedom for all people and women everywhere.

Don’t be afraid to claim feminism for yourself! There is no single definition of feminism and no feminist is perfect. Feminism is a working theory that uplifts people across the globe and addresses inequality. Don’t let the stereotypes about feminism scare you away from an amazing movement.    

 

 

Elise Pawlak is a double major in Creative Writing and Mass Media with double minor in Gender Women’s Studies and Nonprofit Leadership at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is constantly running around campus with being the President of Society of Professional Journalists, Treasurer of Public Relations Student Society of America, Treasurer of Gender Women’s Studies club, the Communications chair for the Women of Action Committee, and the Public Relations intern for the MNSU Women’s Center. When she does have a free moment it is spent rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes and connecting with her spirit animal: The Bloody Mary. After she graduates in May of 2016 she plans to pursue a career in the world of writing… hopefully landing a job that will help her pay off her student loans before she starts collecting social security.
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