The Truth About Feminism

Feminism is perhaps one of the most misunderstood political concepts in modern time, so with all the recent anti-feminist sentiments, it’s important to clear a couple of things up.

Feminism is not about hating men

Merriam-Webster defines feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”. Feminists do not believe in misandry, they fight for equality and equality alone. There are some people who take it too far, but they do not represent feminism and they do not define this movement.

Feminism is an issue for men too

The answer is an absolute, emphatic yes. One of the main components of feminism is fighting gender roles and their oppression, and this applies to men as well. Men often feel like they have to be strong, outdoorsy, obsessed with football, and unemotional. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men die from suicide at a rate 3.5 times higher than women. Mental Health America reports that men are less likely to seek help with mental illness due to social norms. Breaking these antiquated stereotypes can benefit everyone, and that is one of the goals of feminism.

Sexism still exists

Sexism is still prevalent in society today, despite those who vehemently deny it, and one of the best examples was seen over at the Olympics over the summer. Even though women made up 45% of competitors, and received 58.5% of coverage, the word ‘men’ was used three time as much as ‘women’, according to the New York Times. Even when women’s accomplishments were covered in the media, the details surrounding their victories often highlighted their relationship status or age, while men’s descriptors included “’fastest, strong, biggest’”. The internet was none to kind to these headlines, and while some were inadvertently sexist and had good intentions, they are still indicative of a bigger underlying problem in society. Many media sources are working to correct this and promote accurate representation, but this bias is not going away anytime soon.

Rape Culture is real

One of the scariest reasons for the important feminism is the prominence of rape culture in society. The definition of rape culture can vary, but overall rape culture encapsulates issues such as normalization of sexual assault, victim blaming, objectification, and more. Rape culture is so toxic because it can not only encourage sexual assault, but make it impossible for the victims of sexual assault to find any form of justice. The first step of the problem involves reporting sexual assault. RAINN reports that around 2 out of 3 sexual assaults go unreported, which incredibly horrendous. Victims often choose not to report sexual assault out of fear of further violence, or the belief that nothing can be done about it. The worst part is, they might be right. As RAINN shows in a flow chart, out of 1,000 incidents of rape, 6 rapists may be incarcerated. This is so disgusting it’s almost unfathomable. Something needs to change, and feminists are working hard to extinguish the ideas that perpetrate rape culture.

This article barely scrapes the surface of all the incredibly worthwhile causes feminism fights for. I could fill a whole book with all of the merits of intersectional feminism, transfeminism, and the many causes feminism fights for. The point of this article isn’t to lecture you on why feminism is important, but to provide information and create a discussion on how we, as human beings, can further promote equality. So please, read, discuss, and keep an open mind. That’s all I ask.