I'm a Feminist, but that doesn't Mean.....

1. I think I deserve more than men do

Feminism isn’t about women having more. There is nothing in its definition that even implies women are better than men. The definition of feminism right down to its core is equality of the sexes in all aspects of life. All we really want is the same respect as human beings that men get, which yes, means getting paid the same amount for the same job. It means not having the government decide what should happen with our bodies when the same thing doesn’t happen to men. It means teaching everyone, not just men (because yes it happens to them too), to not rape, rather than teaching women how to avoid getting raped. Basically, if you believe in the basic equality of human rights for both genders, you’re a feminist.

2. I’m not allowed to want a relationship

We all have that one friend who’s always actively seeking to be in a relationship. And while there’s nothing wrong with telling her that she should try to be single and independent for a little bit, there’s also nothing wrong with her ignoring that advice and continuing to pursue someone. In fact, putting a girl down by saying “she’s not a feminist because she always wants a boyfriend” seems a little like slut shaming. When you think about it, what’s wrong with a girl wanting someone to cuddle with or to have someone around for emotional support? It doesn’t make her any less independent. So yes, even though it’s occasionally annoying to hear the woes of not having a relationship from your friend, just remember, it doesn’t make her any less of a feminist than you.

3. I have to go out into the world and build a career for myself

The idea of feminism is that women should be allowed to choose to do whatever they want. Sometimes it’s becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and sometimes it’s wanting to be a stay at home mom. Either way, any path they choose should be respected and treated as legit. Just because you decided you don’t want to be staying at home raising children, that doesn’t mean you should be shaming those who do. And yes, after many years of tireless effort, we won the rights to work right alongside men and climbed the ladders of leadership, but that doesn’t mean every single woman has to take advantage of that. That doesn’t mean these women’s efforts went to waste. If anything, it gives women more choice in deciding what they want to do with their lives.

4. I have to like all women

There seems to be this misconstrued concept that if you’re a feminist, you have to like every single woman you come in contact with. This idea could not be more wrong. Just because you don’t like a girl because of a personality trait, or any other reason, it doesn’t mean you’re pitting yourself or setting anyone else against her. We’re allowed to have our opinions on others, and disliking a girl isn’t an “anti-feminist thing.” Hopefully, the reasoning behind your dislike isn’t just about who’s prettier or over who gets the guy; we all remember the lyric from “Flawless” when Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said that when girls see each other as competition for the attention of men, that’s not the right kind of competition. Remember ladies, we have to be a team against the suppression of the patriarchy, but sometimes it’s okay to dislike your team mates.

5. We have to do things “my” way

Just because you have certain beliefs on what feminism means to you, it doesn’t mean that everyone follows those same beliefs. Every woman, has a different belief system when it comes to feminism. Ultimately, like I said before, it all comes back to choice. Just because you feel comfortable freeing the nipple, it doesn’t mean the woman next to you does, and that’s okay. Feminism comes in all different forms, and if we’ve learned anything throughout history, it’s that there isn’t just one way to do things. Likewise, there isn’t just one way to be a feminist. What’s important is that we are all tied together with our one inherent belief of equality among all.