Aren’t we all Feminists?

Julia Cronin, Prowl Editor

In the 21st century we carry around the world in our pockets. We have a whole source of knowledge constantly at our fingertips. With the expansion of the Internet, one would hope that the whole world is educated on matters that will affect our and our kid’s future.

However, the mainstream media’s number one job is rendering the true meaning of a phrase falsely, twisting words, and creating stereotypes that people use to mock others with in the comment section. The Internet’s favorite word to construe, Feminism.

Despite what females and males around the world may think, feminism in its most simplistic form is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. So, aren’t we all feminist?

Misogynist is someone who hates women. Misandrist is someone who hates men. Those are words that are commonly confused with feminist despite their polar opposite definitions. Yet, for some reason, when you ask someone who claims themselves to be a anti-feminist, do you believe women are equal to men on the grounds of voting, pay rate, education, and in society in general? They say yes, and I tell them, then you’re a feminist. The outcome? They immediately become defensive and refuse the idea.

Yes I suppose it is not ideal that the word has -fem in it, so at first view it could be deceiving. But at the end of the day it is not difficult to know what it really means despite how it looks and to ignore the stereotypes that the media loves to label feminists with. Also, to many women it is not only equality but also the celebration of embracing everything about being female. They use it to empower their daughters, mothers, grandmothers, nieces, and wives. What is wrong with that, because I think that is beautiful?

The organization Women Against Feminism was created in 2013 and still operates today. It is used by women of all ages who want to speak out against feminism Women post photos with signs on the site that say “ I don’t need feminism because I’m not oppressed” or “I don’t need feminism because I recognize that there are men’s rights issues as well as women’s’! And we need to stop ignoring them. I’m anti-feminism, pro-equality.” Well, I have great news for you, feminism address men’s rights as well as women’s. Feminism is equality! How has this simple message been so inaccurately sent for years and turned into what some people see as a hate movement?

The women on that site think that feminists assume all men are bad and that’s how they justify being anti-feminism.  But those women are assuming that we all hate men and are angry; do you see the double standard yet?

The uneducated half of the media that will never stop spitting out hateful remarks at feminism is harmful. One of the worst bi-products of the construed feminism the media displays is the stereotype. To name a few: angry, rude, uneducated, attentions seeking, or sluttly. The most popular stereotype is that a feminist is woman who hates men. I am a feminist, and I am angry. But I am angry because people use the word “feminazi” to describe me. I am angry because people against feminism usually don’t even know what it is. I am angry because I am pointed out in a room of people and labeled a feminist as if the rest of us are not, or as if it is to be an insult. I am not angry because that is part of being a feminist.

Another terrible side effect is the notion that you cannot be pro-life and be a feminist. Absolutely, completely, incorrect. You can be pro-life, a stay at home mom, a homosexual, a heterosexual, bi-sexual, transgender, married, single, you can love cooking dinner every night or you can hate it! But you can still be a feminist regardless of any of that.

I refuse to be called a feminazi, a man-hater, or a lesbian because I believe that if I am working just as hard as a man I deserve the same wage. Or that I believe that I deserve the same educational, political, and social opportunities as a man.

I need feminism because I believe in the equality of all of us. Of merit being the reason we achieve goals in life, not our gender. If you agree, then aren’t we both feminist? If we do not stop this, if people do not refuse to stop seeing feminism as a hate-movement then we are danger of going backwards. What women and men need now more then anything is to keep spreading equality, and to keep moving forward.