The concept of feminism is gaining popularity for all the right reasons. The terms – gender equality should have been introduced and practiced in our society way earlier. But let’s face it, it still seems like a distant dream to some of us. Women from all over the world are moving steadily towards taking a firm stand over the fact that they must be seen as equals.
The definition of feminism is quite fluid. It depends on person to person and that is why, there are so many misconceptions that are floating around! While it may be difficult to put a finger on the singular meaning of this term, it is quite easy to point out the things that are definitely not a part of it.
Here is a list of the most common myths and misconceptions which people have when it comes to understanding feminism. If you have any too, have them cleared right here, right now:
1. FEMINISTS LOOK DOWN UPON HOUSEHOLD WORK
Most people assume that if a woman is a feminist, she will not touch the broom and probably never enter the kitchen! But why not? Cleaning the house or being able to prepare a decent meal are things that every person should know regardless of their gender. These are a part of being an independent and grown-up person! So no, just because a girl is aware of rights, just because she opposes things she may not like, does not mean that she looks down upon household work. What feminists are against is the expectation that women and only women must do the household work as that is their job.
2. FEMINISTS HATE MEN
This is yet another level of irrationality which sadly people roam around with. To begin with, feminism is not about hating people, it is about hating the unfair ideas that they hold. Men, or for that matter anyone who looks down upon another just because they happen to be female, deserve some correction. The whole idea revolves around gender equality. We hate the fact that a man can walk around anytime of the night, while a woman coming home late is frowned upon! We hate that a woman is given the entire responsibility of keeping the family together, even if it means loving a husband who abuses her like an object. And you are allowed to hate men like those!
3. FEMINISTS DISREGARD TRADITION
Following traditional values is a personal choice. Sadly but not surprisingly, this choice is taken away from girls at a very young age. They are told to behave in a certain way and be a part of everything traditional not because they want to, but because they have to! It’s not a choice. While it may seem perfectly alright that a guy does not want to be a part of the small rituals every now and then, if a girl refuses, she is probably not a keeper. And this is exactly what feminists do not like. There is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to be traditional just as there is nothing wrong in not wanting to be traditional.
4. FEMINISTS HATE ALL THINGS GIRLY
What is girly? And more importantly, who gets to decide what is girly/feminine and what is not? Why is it so hard for everyone to accept a girl for the personality that she has rather than judging her based on what the prescribed definition is, of being a girl? Every feminist wants people to understand that they don’t hate pink, they are not against makeup and they may gossip sometimes too! But let’s not make all of those things a set of irrational criteria’s which discourage anyone who is different.
5. ONLY WOMEN CAN BE FEMINISTS
It is simple logic – Feminism is the propagation of gender equality, something that any well educated person will believe in! That person could be a woman who knows what she is capable of or it could be a well brought up man who knows women are partners and not slaves!
6. FEMINISTS GOT NO CHILL
There are so many things feminists got to take a stand for that people can’t help but think that a feminist will always be angry. But that is not true. Now, what might anger them is being looked down upon, because they are women but being angry is most certainly not a personality trait! We can make jokes too you know! And laugh at ones that you make!
7. THE MAIN AGENDA OF FEMINIST MOVEMENT WAS TO GET THE RIGHT TO VOTE
Getting the right to vote was just the beginning of this movement and now there is no turning back. Some people have the idea that feminism is no longer needed as we are all pretty much living in an advanced society. Well, first of all, not all of us are living in an advanced environment and secondly, an advanced society does not necessarily guarantee an advanced mentality. So feminism is very much needed.
8. FEMINISTS ARE AGAINST CHIVALRY
Nope! I am a feminist and I would not mind if a guy holds the door for me. I am a feminist and I would not mind him pulling out a chair for me. I am a feminist and I would not get angry if a guy gives up his seat for me in crowded public transportation. And no feminist will get angry if a guy comes to the protection of a woman who needs it. We don’t believe that a guy would do this because he thinks women are weak, but because he knows that women deserve to be treated better!
9. FEMINISTS ARE AGAINST MARRIAGE
To some, marriage is the strengthening of a bond and to some, it is just a legal formality. Who is to decide which perspective is right and which one is wrong? Is it even a question of which is right and which is wrong? Because, I say and so will all the feminists, that no one but you should have the right to decide what is best for you. Getting married has not stopped some people from cheating on their partners and being in a live-in relationship has never stopped people from being committed. Just something to think about….
10. FEMINISM IS BENEFICIAL ONLY TO WOMEN
The correct statement would be – feminism is beneficial to women……., and men who think of women as actual people with a mind of their own. It is beneficial to the society as a whole and the ultimate goal is for every woman to feel empowered enough to be taken seriously!