12 Ways Feminists Are Still Misunderstood In 2015

Labeling yourself as a feminist in 2015 comes with a bunch of ridiculous crap from people who still subscribe to the antiquated idea that feminism is the equivalent of wishing men were wiped from the face of the earth for good. Obviously, more and more people are coming around to the fact that it’s actually about real equality between the sexes, but feminists are still misunderstood in a variety of ways.

  1. Feminists don’t actually hate men. Wanting equal rights for women doesn’t mean that feminists harbor any sort of ill will towards men, and many love them! Making a female-centered movement all about men kind of proves the point that we still need it around, don’t you think?
  2. Feminism’s goal isn’t to make women more powerful than men. Feminism is simply advocating for women’s rights and attempting to achieve equality between the sexes politically, socially, and economically. Like equality? Then you’re a feminist.
  3. Feminists can still be feminine. The general idea is that feminists are flannel-wearing, shaven-head having butch lesbians, but that’s ridiculous. Feminists don’t just look just one way, because the movement is all about letting women make choices about their own body instead of feeling the pressure to just fit one mold.
  4. Feminism isn’t only for women. Men can certainly be feminists, and most women would love to have them in the movement. If there were more men joining in, then there’d be more (and quicker) progress, and more understanding that the movement is great for everyone!
  5. Feminists don’t hate mothers. Because one of the earliest fights for feminists was to allow women join the workforce, this is a big misconception. However, feminists don’t hate mothers. Many are mothers! That means they’re being more vocal about the workplace and public places being more accommodating for breastfeeding mothers. It also means many are fighting for better maternity and paternity leave.
  6. Feminists aren’t against marriage. Feminism is all about women making their own choices, so they definitely don’t have a mandate against marriage. After all, feminists fall in love too! Many feminists go on to be wives, just as some go on to be mothers. Also, many feminists are in support of marriage equality.
  7. Feminists aren’t always angry. Well, like all other humans, feminists go through all range of emotions. They aren’t on a default setting, so if they’re angry, it’s because they’re reacting to a questionable situation. Don’t treat them like they’re all chaotic, or that their moods have anything to do with their feminism.
  8. Feminists aren’t only fighting rights for women. The movement is for everyone because the goal is equality. Feminists also have things like more reasonable paternity leave and society’s terrible expectations of masculinity on their agenda.Equality means humans are on the same level, therefore neither male nor female comes out on top.
  9. Feminists have plenty left to fight for. Women might be able to vote and work, but there’s still a long way to go. Women’s access to affordable health care is dwindling due to the crackdown on Planned Parenthood. Equal pay is still not achieved. Women and men are still being blamed and shamed if they come forward about being raped. The list goes on from there.
  10. Feminists aren’t all the same. Just because feminists operate under the same umbrella doesn’t mean they’re all fighting for or believe in the same things. Many members of the community disagree on different issues, just like they do in the real world, so avoid making snap judgments.
  11. Feminists don’t want to take away women’s choices. Some men and women might feel excluded from the movement because they’ve subscribed to more traditional routes like marriage and kids or even dressing a particular way. But feminism is all about allowing women to make a choice, so if you’re happy with your life, that’s all that matters.
  12. Feminists definitely don’t want to ruin sex. A lot of the movement is focused on changing the way society view and treat women when it comes to sex, and some critics have claimed that feminists want to ruin it. Feminism is all about everyone being free to express themselves sexually if they choose to, and the desire to better people’s sex lives by having better sexual education, access to services for sexual health, and teaching more about consent. Feminism is all about having great and safe sex, not ruining it.
Nicole Weaver is a staff writer for YourTango and regularly contributes to Hollywood, The Bolde, and Proud2BMe. She is a lover of all things entertainment meaning she spends most of her nights in New York binge watching television shows. Follow her on Twitter at @nikkibernice.