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How to Embrace the Feminist Label

The word “feminist” is being thrown around A LOT in the media lately. Everyone seems to have a different meaning of the word and how to be the “perfect” feminist. If you don’t know how or if you want to identify as a feminist, there are a lot of things you need to understand before you embrace the feminist label. You have to understand which groups feminism includes. The easiest answer to that is, everyone. Feminism includes all women of all ethnicities, everyone in the LGBTQIA community, and, yes, MEN. Feminism gets split up in the media. Mainly, you’ll see white feminism. True feminism includes EVERYONE. It’s not just about white women gaining equality.

 

1. Understand

Understanding why people have a hard time embracing the label is a huge step in embracing feminism. A lot of people simply just don’t know what feminism means. Feminism isn’t just about women, but anything and everything involving all genders. People think feminism is about women being superior to men. The media makes it seem like feminists hate men, which is not the case at all. Feminism has a really negative connotation because there is a small group of feminists who take it to the extreme and claim that they think women are better than men and that men are inferior. Like any group, feminism has a very extreme subgroup that people pay attention to more attention to and they judge the entire group by those few extremists. Another way to embrace the feminist label is to try clearing up the major misconceptions surrounding feminism. Feminism is NOT about women being better than men. Try to focus more on equality of all genders and not the imbalance of power between genders.

 

2. Don't get caught up on labels

It might be a little intimidating when you first identify as a feminist simply because of all of the stigma behind the word. It might take time to realize that your beliefs line up exactly with feminist beliefs. It’s okay to take your time with accepting the label and getting used to it. If you are trying to get a friend to embrace feminism, don’t be too forceful with the label. Try and show them that their beliefs ARE feminist beliefs.

 

3. Learn more about cultural differences in feminism!

Learn about the black community and their specific struggles as black women. Understand that men can be raped and it has the same psychological affects as it has on women. Learn about transgender women and how their struggle is different from yours. If you are white, don’t fall into the white feminism category. Don’t just stick to your ethnicity. Expand your knowledge and learn how you can be a better ally to other women and men.

 

4. Find something you love!

Explore intersectionality and find something you’re passionate about (body positivity, LGBTQ+ inclusivity/rights, rape culture, etc.). If you have a personal connection to the movement, you’ll be more involved and more interested.

 

 

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