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The Problem with the ‘F’ Word

We have all seen it: the common stereotype of being a feminist.

Usually, those who do not understand the core of feminism will drag it down by posting and making fun of women who have made the decision, a decision which they are absolutely entitled to stop wearing their bras, stop shaving, and protesting loudly for *gasp* human rights.

A lot of the world views feminism as something ugly and almost laughable now, and this makes a lot of people feel like they have to hide how they feel or turn their back on their own gender so that they don’t become that girl. You know that girl, the one who is vocal about her rights and does not want them taken away?

Photo courtesy of It’s Nice That

Sadly, a lot of young women are feeding into this deception of a simple word. Feminism, instead of meaning equality, is painted as evil, and many are falling into the trap.

“No, I’m not a feminist, women already have rights,” but are our rights equal to men’s?

“Yeah I think that I’m a feminist, but not like that kind of feminist,” because it is only acceptable to want to be treated as equals if you do so quietly and without getting in the way.

Today, it is important to know that you can stay home if you would like, but a lot of women do want to work, and they want to be paid the same as their male coworker doing the same job.

Photo courtesy of HuffPost

Unfortunately, due to the misunderstanding of a simple word, there is now a social divide. “Feminists” and “Anti-Feminists” constantly think that the other is out to ruin the other’s way of life.

Here is the definition of feminism: “The theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

This includes, but is not limited to, eliminating the wage gap, fighting for justice for rape and sexual assault survivors (both men and women), and coming together as a country to aid in helping women in other parts of the world who are being abused, mistreated, and even sold.

Why is feminism often misconstrued?

As with most things, people are often very defensive regarding themselves. It is shown that a lot of men especially have an issue with feminism, simply because they think that it is an attack on men, when the true purpose is not.

Photo courtesy of TeePublic

Also, as with most political topics, there are extremes to everything. A lot of the people who have had poor experiences with “feminists” who believe that feminism is about women being better than men and wanting to burn the male species to the ground, are left with a bad taste from the word feminism.

It is very difficult at times, especially when you are at the wrong end of things, to see a difference between empowering women and degrading men. After we cleanse and define the word feminism, we can finally hope to see its values carried out.

Photo courtesy of Pan Macmillan

I am a Junior at USF majoring in English and aspiring to write something that people enjoy reading. My hobbies are watching New Girl and That 70s Show on repeat, eating good food, and sleeping.
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