Understanding what Femin-isn’t

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Recent controversy has emerged over feminism at THHS. This struggle has yielded an article, Facebook page, many confessions, and a slew of outraged debates at lunch tables. However, the idea of feminism seems to be moving away from its general idea of equality to a heightened conception of feminists as bra burning, non-leg shaving, man haters.  These two ideas are not synonymous and this confusion has led to countless arguments that are hurting the cause. With the definition being changed so frequently, I’m here to remind you of what it actually is-the desire for equality.

Webster defines feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” The Fault in our Stars star Shailene Woodley said,  “I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance.” But that is the main argument of feminism: balance. When an actress in a popular movie doesn’t understand the idea of feminism herself, her ignorance can only influence feminism in the wrong way.

This new generation is growing up praising people who have a shocking misconception of feminist ideology.  This creates extremists on both sides of the gender equality spectrum who undo the work that  real feminists have been doing for years.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Beyonce’s “Who Run the World” as much as the next person. The song is meant to empower women to rise up to men in order to have equality and not send women running towards traditional values because they are afraid to be viewed as man haters. There is a middle ground between the extremes-women are not dragging men down but rather rising to meet them.

Some people arguing for egalitarianism say that the use of word “feminism” to promote equality is a contradiction in itself because the word is derived from the word “female.” The term is not so much aboutstressing the word “female” but rather about empowering women, who of the two sexes, clearly need the extra push.

As a feminist, I don’t look forward to the day when people cheer because a woman is the primary bread-winner of a household; I look forward to the day when she can be the primary supporter of a household and it is a perfectly normal occurrence. That, is true feminism.

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