Why People Need to Realize That Being a Feminist Isn’t a Bad Thing

The definition of the word feminism is simply this: “the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” What’s so wrong about that? What’s so wrong with women trying to better themselves by asking for a seat at the table or asking to be looked at as someone who has something intelligent to add to the conversation? After all, the world needs women just as much as it needs men. 

So what’s so bad about feminism if it’s the fight for equal rights? 

The problem with the word feminism isn’t the word itself, but the treatment of the word. 

A lot of people fear what feminism might add to society. What the empowerment of women will do to the society we all know and only some love and benefit from. The media has blown feminism out of proportion, making it seem like all feminists want to do is hate men and not wear a bra. In fact, that’s not true at all.

Women want equality and better lives and careers for themselves. Women want to be looked at something more valuable than their sex parts. And something more than just a “bitch.” But in all honesty, since when has the word bitch ever hurt a woman? Like maybe the first time she ever heard someone call her that to her face, but after that most women are empowered by their “bitch-ness.”

If feminists are so-called “bitches,” then so be it. If being assertive and asking for what you want makes you a bitch, then keep doing it. Men have been bitches for years in that aspect. Unlike the male definition and usage of the word bitch, it’s a double-edged sword in the female community. Not only do we call each other and ourselves bitches as words of encouragement, but we also use it negatively. More often than not, being a bitch isn’t a bad thing, nor should any woman be sorry for it. 

The same goes for feminism. You have the right to fight for yourselves and others just as much as you have the right to ignore it. But if you label yourself a feminist, don’t be afraid to say it. 

Feminists simply want something more for all women. 

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We want equality in the workforce.

Not only is the pay different between men and women, but the treatment of women in the workplace is negative. Paulina Porizkov, an opinion contributor to the New York Times, wrote in her op-ed, “The American woman is told she can do anything and then is knocked down the moment she proves it.” 

Feminists are fighting to prove that women can do anything and should be praised for their hard work just as much as men. More so, feminists are fighting for women to receive credit for the work that they do, rather than men receiving all the credit for just repeating what they said. 

We want reproductive rights to stay within the power of women, not the government. 

We’ve all seen how human rights have been at the forefront of the news lately. Trump’s administration is working conservatively to take away a woman’s right to abortions and contraceptives. And recently, transgender rights. 

Feminists want the women’s bodies to be their right. Whatever a woman does to her body should be her own choice. Whether she wants to use birth control or not, whether she wants to get an abortion or not should always be up to her. No one should be able to take that right away from her. Feminists simply want to keep the ball in our own court. 

We want to be who we are, not the stereotype of women.

So many things in this world are stereotyped, women being one of them. The “values” of women are changing and women simply want to be who they are without someone telling them “to be more girly” or to “tone it down” or “cover it up.” Each woman has a different idea of what makes her confident and what goes beyond her boundaries. 

Feminist fight for the right to not be held to the double standards of society. 

Rape culture is still a thing.

There will be feminists as long as rape culture still exists within society. With the #MeToo Movement and Time’s Up breaking societal norms on rape culture, feminists all over the world are promoting its safe keeping. The notion that “women are asking for it” by dressing a certain way, being outside at a certain time, talking a certain way, drinking, running the same route every day, etc., is ridiculous. 

Feminists want rape culture to end. And that’s definitely not a bad thing. Women deserve to feel safe within their own world, culture and society. Rape Culture shouldn’t be played into and yet every day it is. Recent movements are calling for a new society and feminists are at its front. 

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Honestly, there is nothing wrong with feminism, actual feminism. But like everything society brings forth, there are always radicals. Unfortunately, these are members the media shows more often than not and that’s what brings a bad name to things like feminism. 

The radical notion that if you are a feminist you hate men or you want to completely destroy men is not one that aligns with true feminism. That notion that women are better than men doesn’t align with feminism. Women are equal to men and everyone should be based off of their ability and qualities and education levels, not their gender.   

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a feminist. No one should feel the need to hide that they are one, either. Advocating for human rights will never be a bad thing, so why do people think fighting for women’s rights is so terrible? It’s not. Feminist fight for so much more than I just mentioned, and they will keep on fighting because women deserve a seat at the table and women deserve to have their voices heard too. 

Feminism is simply advocating for rights. Feminism is saying you believe that every woman deserves an opportunity to have a place at the table if she wants one. Feminism is fighting for all people of all races, sexes and demographics. It’s a fight for a better community, for a better world where human rights aren’t in danger by governmental actions or endangered by people who have never experienced what you’ve been through. It’s a fight to be human and every way you can be. 

Feminism isn’t wrong by any means. 

You should be proud to label yourself as a feminist. And you should be proud of what is being accomplished by feminists each day. 

Feminism is a dirty word. It’s an empowering one, so let it empower you. 

Be proud and be loud until the end of time. 

I’m a proud feminist, and I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise.