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In the wake of Women’s Marches and so many other amazing feminist events taking place around the world, there has been a surprising amount of anti-feminism backlash. Why would a woman not want to be a feminist?
According to this article titled “9 Reasons Why I Can’t Stand Modern-Day Feminism,” there are a lot of reasons… Most of which are common misconceptions, debatable, or just blatantly incorrect.
Here, I attempt to dismantle some myths about modern-day feminism, and make a case for why the fight for gender equality is still incredibly relevant today.
“They Constantly Victimize My Gender, and I Find It Insulting”
If you don’t feel disadvantaged as a woman, then that’s wonderful. However, as you’ll see in arguments below, women definitely aren’t equal in this day and age. We don’t want to be seen as victims, either. Women are powerful, wonderful and brilliant. We just want the rest of the world to be able to see that as well.
“They Try to Convince Me That I’m a Feminist When I Tell Them I’m Not”
Merriam-Webster literally defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” So if you believe in equal rights for men and women, technically you would be a feminist. Do we want to force you to use the label? No. Some might, but that’s not all of us. Do whatever you’re comfortable with.
“They Claim to Want Equality, but Expect Special Treatment”
Could it be they just want to be included in things that have been a boys club for far too long? The past year was both the first time a woman was a full-time NFL coach and a presidential candidate. It took until 2016 for this to happen. Both of these things made major headlines because people were so shocked.
We don’t want journalists to believe that things like this warrant headlining news. Female NFL coach? Cool, she must really know the sport, just like any other coach would. Presidential candidate? There are tonnes of women in politics, and many major political leaders around the globe are women. The fact that people were mad about these things happening solely because of them being women is why we fight for equality.
As for the “paying for the date” argument that’s being used in the article – most real and true feminists in the modern-day world do not expect their date to pay every time, or even the first time for that matter. It’s often polite that whoever asked the other out should pay, or you can go Dutch, regardless of gender. What do you think same-sex couples do?
“They Trivialise Rape by Broadening Its Definition Into the Grounds of Consensual Sex”
This one is very serious. Rape is absolutely horrible and in no way does feminism strive to trivialise it. False accusations of rape are a very serious matter, and an act we find horrible. Neither sex should be taken advantage of when intoxicated. Both parties drinking makes the lines of consent extremely blurry. No matter what, if someone is saying no and to stop, then that means no. No matter what state they’re in.
“A Lot of Them Are Marxist Socialist Vegans”
Stereotyping is a bit rude, isn’t it? Yes, there are bound to be feminists that are all of those things – just like there are bound to be anti-feminists that are also all of those things. With so many people in the world, it’s crazy to think there aren’t some Marxist socialist vegans in both of those categories. If there’s no issue with this, why even include it on your list?
“They Get Offended Too Easily and Make Women Look Crazy”
Again, there are bound to be both feminists and anti-feminists that are very easily offended. When it comes to people being interviewed at rallies and things like that, journalists tend to go for the person they think is going to give them the best quote or sound bite, thus giving them the most hits. A lot of times, that means going to the person that seems crazy.
“Feminists Fail to See the Redundancy in the Modern-Day Feminist Movement”
There are laws that are supposed to protect women from rape, harassment and abuse. However, women also shouldn’t have to be afraid to walk alone home in the dark. They shouldn’t be called a bitch or a whore when they turn someone down they aren’t interested in. They shouldn’t be told they asked for getting catcalled or assaulted because of they way they were dressed.
Being a woman can be more expensive, too. The USA is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave. Birth control isn’t covered by all insurance providers. Women pay more than men for the same products – unless they buy the male version – because of the very real Pink Tax. Many states still tax tampons, sometimes as a luxury item, even though it’s not like women can help that they have menstrual cycles.
Developed countries certainly don’t have it as bad as many other countries, but that definitely doesn’t mean they’ve achieved equality.
“Feminists Refuse to Acknowledge That the Gender Pay Gap Is the Result of Women’s Choices, Not Sexism”
In some instances, yes, there is obviously going to be a pay gap depending on the industry that’s chosen. What about the women that are working as truck drivers, laborers and other industries not thought of as ones women work in, and are still experiencing a pay gap? According to this study done in 2015, though women were financial managers the same as men, they were only earning 65 percent of the average men’s wage for doing the same job.
Hollywood is also famous for having a large gender pay gap. Emma Stone – an Oscar-winning actress – has recently said that her male costars have taken a pay cut so their pay was equal to hers. If an actress is leading a movie or co-leading with a man, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be getting paid the same. Their names are equally big on the poster and their pay should reflect that.
“Feminists Refuse to Acknowledge That Men and Women Are Different”
We know very well men and women are different. It’s true that they can have very different strengths and weaknesses. However, there are also men and women that are spectacular at things that are considered to be for the opposite sex. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to do these things and they shouldn’t be judged when they do.
Feminists are also very adamant about fighting for health care coverage that’s specifically for women. We know that women’s bodies are different – which is exactly why they need health care that’s going to cover those needs. Having a baby can be insanely expensive if you have to pay for the whole thing. Women shouldn’t have to struggle to pay off having a child.
All feminists want is to be treated equally and fairly – and sometimes they have to be loud to get people to pay attention. Equality is something we should all strive for, whether or not you want to use the term “feminist.” However, before you bash on the movement, it would be wise to do some research into what it actually stands for instead of making sweeping assumptions based on hearsay and sensationalized media coverage.