I’m sure most of us can agree with the fact that the word ‘feminism’ has been largely dissociated from its original meaning. To be clear, the original meaning of feminism entails the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Yet, what many people have come to believe is that feminism exists on the basis of “man hating.”
What people largely fail to understand is that feminism, in its true form, does not strive for the oppression of men. Rather, feminism stands for the rights of women to be treated equal to men.
I will not deny there are many people, both men and women, who take feminism out of its original context and thus, skew its meaning. Yet, just like any concept, there will always be those who misunderstand.
Unfortunately, it appears as if people have largely taken the words of the misunderstood and associated them with a true meaning of feminism.
Now, when we say feminism, people immediately assume certain absurdities such as, we look down on women who cook, we look down on stay at home moms, we don’t cherish romantic relationships, we’re crazy, we hate men…. the list goes on.
With this, it is my belief that it becomes all the more important for true feminists, to identify themselves as, ‘feminists.’ Too often I hear young women and men state that they believe in gender equality, but refuse to identify as feminists due to the negative, and false, connotations that now surround the word.
Yet, that fact of the matter is if we continue to do this, we deny the possibility of ever reforming the word back to it’s original meaning. Moreover, we ultimately deprive future generations of what it truly means it be a feminist.
Refusing to identify ourselves as ‘feminist,’ when we are in fact feminist, only continues the downward spiral of this extremely important concept.