5 Misconceptions about Feminism

The advancement of women in society is becoming more and more of a hot topic.  With celebrity advocates such as Beyoncé and Emma Watson, feminism has become a norm.  The misconceptions of feminism cloud the progressive message that the movement is trying to send.  This article will attempt to reveal the truth behind some of these misconceptions.

Let’s first begin by explaining what feminism is.  According to Merriam-Webster, feminism is “the theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”  This definition says nothing about “man-hating” or not being able to wear pink…just strictly the equality of men and women.

1.  “Feminist” is a code word for “man-hater.”

This is probably one of the greatest misconceptions regarding feminism.  Feminism, in its most basic form, is about equality—not superiority.  In fact, the idea behind feminism is about men and women working together to achieve this equality.  As Emma Watson explained in her speech to the United Nations, the advancement of women in society isn’t a one-sided equation; the male ideologies surrounding women are equally as important in this process.

2.  You are not a feminist if you wear “revealing” clothes.

Feminism is primarily about making your own choices.  Being able to choose what you wear and how you wear it is one of those choices.  Wearing a low plunging neckline instead of a turtleneck does not disqualify you from being a feminist; it’s more about the idea behind your clothing decision.  Feminists believe that low plunging neckline you sport on a Saturday night shouldn’t be a reflection of what society wants you to wear, but of what makes you feel beautiful and confident.

So throw on those six-inch heels and that mini dress you’ve wanted to wear for the longest time.  Just make sure you’re wearing it for you and no one else.

3.  Feminists cannot be housewives.

This is a common misconception, even among feminists themselves.  As a woman of the 21st century, you have as much of a right to be a stay-at-home mother as you do to be a CEO.

In the past, being a housewife was automatically assumed to be a women’s role.  Today we have the right to choose whether or not we want to go college and become the next president or stay at home and take care of our families.  Feminism does not lie in what you choose to do, but why you choose to do it.

Therefore, if no one is standing over you and demanding that you have dinner ready by the time they come home, and forcing you to wake up at 6 a.m. to make their coffee, then make that coffee and cook that dinner, girl!

4.  Feminists don’t like the idea of marriage.

Feminists question certain aspects of the traditional wedding, such as the vow to “obey” your husband and take his last name.  In terms of marriage itself, to say that all feminists hate marriage would be an extreme exaggeration.  Feminists believe that women shouldn’t aspire to marriage, but should instead enjoy the institution of marriage with someone they love.  They also believe that the ideology about the equality of men and women should be expressed in marriage.

Besides, there are many benefits that come with marriage.

5.  Men and women are equal; we don’t need feminism.

Women have clearly come a long way from not being able to vote to now being Secretaries of State and CEOS of Fortune 500 companies.  Although this advancement is great, there is still much more to be done in order to establish equality between men and women.  The media’s portrayal of women is one that presents us in a sexual and negative light.  There is also a clear pay gap between men and women.

Bonus: Feminism is intimidating.

Do you believe in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes?

That’s feminism.  Yes, it’s really just that simple.