Fear and Feminism

Fear and Feminism

Feminism. Feminism is the advocation of women’s rights in political, social and economic equality of men. Before I learned about feminism, I was frightened by this word because I didn’t understand what it meant to be a feminist. I heard so many theories about feminism, and I later found out with some research that most of the information I heard was just misconceptions.

Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and actress, found some misconceptions and shared it at a United Nations meeting on Sept. 20.  “I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop… it is time that we see gender as a spectrum instead of  two sets of opposing ideal,” she said.  She discussed the meaning of a feminist.  Throughout her speech, she also debunks some common misconceptions by providing an explanation and true facts about feminism.

Since feminist is the equality of genders, these people shouldn’t even call them feminists. They are nothing close to feminism. There is a different word for them: misandrist. Feminism promotes equality. Misandry promotes man-hating.Another misconception that I heard way too often is that “we don’t NEED feminists”. That “women already do have equal rights as men”. Truth is that women are far from equal rights in political, social and economic areas. According to The New Agenda Website, women still make significantly less money than men a gap of 10-20 cents less than a dollar a man earns. This may sound like a small gap, but over time it can add up.

The word itself also disperses these misconceptions.  According to a Huffington survey, 20 percent of Americans–including 23 percent of women and 16 percent of men– self-identify as feminist. However, 82 percent of Americans believe that “men and women should be social, political, and economic equals.”Since the word is “feminism,”Americans assume that it refers to women being superior to men. Feminism is the equality of men and women; it’s the same thing. This proves that people misunderstand the meaning behind the word “feminism”.

After being educated on the true meaning of the word “feminism,” I am proud to call myself a feminist– it involves everything that I believe in. I believe that men and women should be equal economically, politically and socially, and I am proud to be a feminist.