Some thoughts on Feminism, why few people stand up for it, the bad rep it's gotten, and how Time magazine stepped out of line and made it worse... by a college student. #Feminism #Time #College

*disclaimer: this post is on a topic that is quite different from what I normally post, and is completely my own opinion. I respect all opinions on this topic, even those not similar to mine, and I want you to respect my opinion as well.*

I call myself a lot of things. I am: loud, a Stage Manager, organized, sleep deprived, a procrastinating overachiever, creative, and a lover of all things Disney. One of the things that I don’t tend to connect to myself, which I very much am, is a Feminist.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud Feminist and I always have been, but I just never really connected the word Feminist to myself when describing myself.

Yesterday in one of my classes, the Wellness center on campus came into to give a presentation on hook ups. At one point in the presentation they got a little off topic and asked “who here is a Feminist?” Everyone hesitated. We all did the awkward, I can raise my hand but nobody else is… dance. After a few seconds I took a breath and raised my hand straight up. The girl sitting next to me did the same.

Nobody else in the room moved.

 

The presentation moved on.

What? I was bewildered. “Oh come on,” I muttered to the girl next to me, and she laughed.

The truth is: I know that at least half of those students in my class do identify as a Feminist, as I have had personal conversations with them on the topic as well as seen their posts on social media regarding it.

So why were they so afraid to stand up and declare that they want Women to have equal rights?

Banning the “F-Word”

This is not what a Feminist is. But this is what many people believe they are.

This is not what a Feminist is. But this is what many people believe they are.

Feminism has been given a really bad rep lately. I understand the misconception: I can see why people think that it could be a negative thing. Many people think that Feminists are men-hating, men-shaming, slut-shaming, and “bossy.”

The truth? Women just want rights. I actually recently wrote an essay on this topic, titled “Girls Just Wanna Have Rights” after the Cyndi Lauper song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” which my teacher loved.

The definition of Feminism is this: feminsim_definition

The majority of Feminists are not fighting to overpower and oppress men, they are simply fighting for their own oppression to end. “Equality to men.” Women are still not paid as much as men, even in the US, nor given the same chances to job opportunities nor often taken seriously as political candidates. Feminists simply want equality for themselves, not the inequality of men.

Time_magazine_logoTIME recently released an online poll voting for “Which Word Should be Banned in 2015?” Among these words were some such as “turnt” “bae” “literally” “obvi” and “yaaaasssss” which are all slang words often used by teenagers as a phase. Included in this list of words to be banned: Feminist.

The description that follows says “feminist: You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.”

If more and more celebrities are proudly stating that they are a Feminist, chances are that this is something we should stand behind and support. This makes it sounds like being a Feminist is as much of a phase as using the word “bae” or “turnt” in conversation.

I am: A Feminist.

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Fixed ShowSince these incidents occurred (in my classroom and in TIME) I’ve gone through and looked at myself and realized that I don’t proudly claim that I am a Feminist: which I am.

I believe that women are strong, and deserve to be treated as such. I believe that women should be given an equal opportunity to jobs, earn equal wages, and many other things that we are currently denied. This alone (as I am also a Feminist for many other reasons) makes me a Feminist.

There is no point is being ashamed of that, of not raising my hand in a group of people when asked if I believe women should be treated fairly.

As I am typing this post I am also going through my social media and my about me page and adding “Feminist” to the list of things that I identify as.

I am me, Dani: loud, a Stage Manager, organized, sleep deprived, a procrastinating overachiever, creative, a lover of all things Disney, and a Feminist.

 

How do you feel about TIME wanting to ban the word “Feminist”? Do you proudly identify as a Feminist?

*disclaimer: I am very open about other people’s opinions and if you want to share a disagreeing opinion in my comments please feel free to do so. this is a safe place and you will not be attacked or judged for your opinion, as I hope you do not attack or judge me for mine.*

 

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Thoughts on Feminism
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12 thoughts on “Thoughts on Feminism

  • November 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm
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    Thank you so much for this post. I identified a lot with it. Recently, I’ve been reevaluating my own reluctance to label myself as a feminist. I agree whole-heartedly with the ideology, but knowing how people perceive the word has always made me keep quiet about it. It’s something I’m working on, and one day I want to be able to proudly declare it without worrying about everyone else’s misconceptions.

    Reply
    • November 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm
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      I completely understand where you’re coming from 🙂 I had one friend back in high school who referred to Feminists as “Femi-Nazis” and it would take everything I could muster to not blow up at that. So many people have huge misconceptions about the term Feminist and it often does make it scary to openly declare that you are one, with those reactions waiting around the corner.

      Reply
  • November 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm
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    I’ve always identified with it. I really don;t understand how any girl doesn’t. Men (and some women) put a bad connotation on it, resulting in people denying the label, and all it does is help to hurt themselves (women) in the long run. It’s sort of like a weapon to keep us down, that some men understand fully, and others don’t but go along with it anyway. And the women have no idea but also go along with it. It’s a hard thing to break, oppression always is.

    Reply
    • November 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm
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      I agree, it’s a vicious cycle of misconception leading to bigger misconception. Education and open mindedness is what is needed to break the negative meaning of the term, and to slowly break the oppression in the process.

      Reply
  • November 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm
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    I am extremely uncomfortable with the term and calling myself f(F)emnist as it goes against many of my core beliefs. For example the rights of the child in utero are void because of their voicelessness and location, and it is acceptable to terminate a pregnancy but terminate outside of utero and is first degree murder.

    Reply
    • November 19, 2014 at 8:23 pm
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      I’ve personally never heard of those being things that are related to being a Feminist, as in my eyes being a Feminist is simply wanting equality for men and women. But I still respect your position and your beliefs 🙂

      Reply
      • December 2, 2014 at 12:52 pm
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        Thank you 🙂

        Abortion does fall under a lot of people’s definitions of Feminism as their interpretation of abortion is as a woman’s rights issue.

        Reply
  • November 19, 2014 at 8:01 pm
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    I subscribe to the kind of feminism that empowers women as equal partners with men. I don’t accept any kind of extremism in asserting our feminine power. So I do not wish to step on or diminish manhood. We need men. We just don’t want to be underfoot or undermined. The world is not perfect and centuries of it being steeped in testesterone is not going to change male dominance, but because of courageous feminist pioneers, today’s woman can enjoy many liberties those gone before did not. And the struggle continues. We have made significant strides already and should by all means continue lifting our voices to decry abuse, subjugation and violence against women in our country as well as those women abroad, especially in Islamic cultures, who do not enjoy the right to even speak the word in their own household. I am proud to call myself a feminist. I am independent, feminine, smart; I know my rights and am free to speak about them. I see nothing wrong with your philosophy, Dani. Let’s keep up the fight for equal rights and justice for all people despite gender, race or class.

    Reply
    • November 19, 2014 at 8:25 pm
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      I agree to that, my position is equal partners with men and not superiority to them. Feminists have made many great strides in the past, and the changes are still occurring. Far from over, far from finished, but still making progress. People are people, and people deserve to be treated as equally as any other people, that’s my outlook and I’m glad that you share it! Thanks for putting in your opinion as well Karen 🙂

      Reply
  • November 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm
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    This was wonderful! I totally agree with you. I hate when I hear “you throw/run/play like a girl” being said to boys and girls. In general, women have been oppressed since the beginning of civilization. Feminism is about equality, not more power. People often forget that women did not receive the right to vote until 1920 in the United States. That was less than 100 years ago! And when you think about women’s rights globally, millions of women still have extremely limited rights. EVERYONE deserves rights.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2015 at 7:53 pm
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    Yes! I feel like it’s definitely become, in the eyes of society, something of a fad, or a label that people can collectively hate, which is super frustrating because feminism’s just advocating for the equality of women! Being anti-feminism would be like being anti-union during the civil war, or pro-slave labor right now, &tc. Feminism’s not based on behaviour or political beliefs or religion; it’s based on people being just that; people, who all live, and so need to eat, sleep, have relationships and security and know that as a woman, they are just as important as the man sitting on the park bench across from them! Being feminist is just acknowledging that it’s not okay for women to be deemed less-important in the eyes of our government, which was established for the citizens, not against them, and then be treated as less important, less human I guess?, than our male counterparts in things like our pay and opportunities. You go raising that hand girl!

    Reply
  • October 28, 2016 at 11:05 am
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    I love reading your posts and this post just so happened to catch my eye right around when I’m going to be writing a paper for my graduate class. The Class I’m taking is U.S. Women’s History. I’m hoping that my professor approves my topic. Thank you for the inspiration for it.

    Reply

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