Being Called a Feminist is NOT an Insult!

Feminism is a battle fought for equal rights and not all types of feminism are radical!

Nowadays, being called a feminist is considered to be an insult. I wonder why that happens? Is it because of all the misconceptions associated with feminism? Or is it for some other reason? This notion takes away the meaning and point of feminism. Merriam Webster defines feminism as, “The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” So, if you consider this definition, feminism is a battle fought for equality.

Terms such as “feminazi” has been widely popularized and used by both men and womxn. This term is used to shut down womxn who speak up about atrocities meted out to them in a workplace or life in general. Since the word “Nazi’ is added as a suffix to the word feminism, everyone ends up involuntarily viewing the whole concept of feminism as something negative.

This draws connections between the feminist movement and Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. The term was explained and defined by Rush Limbaugh in his book, The Way Things Ought To Be, as, “a feminist to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur”. So a womxn’s right to exercise control over her body and reproductive health is deemed similar to the anti-semitic rigidity of Hitler’s Nazi regime. The term feminazi is used to debilitate the movement and categorize every feminist as someone who hates men or someone who has a radical stance.

A feminist is not an individual who hates men. If you take a look back into history, for centuries womxn have had to fight for their basic rights and womxn of different ethnicities have had to struggle more than a white womxn. There were times when a womxn’s vote was only considered to be half a vote. So, two womxn would be equivalent to a man. Despite progress and victories, womxn are still battling for equality in various aspects of life. From the right to drive to equal pay, societies the world over continue to follow patriarchal norms. While some norms might be subtle, they still present. So, you can say that patriarchy is an omnipresent factor that governs our lives.

There are certain stereotypes that state that being a feminist means that you aren’t feminine. What you must understand is that feminine is an attribute or characteristic, and being a feminist is a way of thinking or ideology. The two do not correlate. This is a stereotype that we must smash. You can be a feminist and be feminine, and vice versa.

Studies have shown that feminism is a concept that many middle class working individuals believe in and support. Although many individuals agree with the feminist ideology of equality in every sphere of life, many do not agree with the word. The reason behind this fear is the stereotype. When someone associates them with the word feminist, society views them to be lesbians who don’t shave their legs, like men, or having any feminine traits. So the fear of these stereotypes stops womxn from associating themselves with the word feminism. So what should we do? Change the word feminism to something else? Or change society’s narrow definition of feminism? I believe that we should challenge society. We need to change the way people look at womxn. And what the role of a woman is. Because women were not born to work in the kitchen unless it’s out of choice. Womxn were born to do great things and so many womxn have already done them. So why shouldn’t we fight for their equal rights? If you think about it, why shouldn’t you fight for your own equal rights?

There are various types of feminism and various movements that adopted the basic feminist principle but decided to fight for it in their very own unique way. Yes, radical feminism is a part of the movement, but it is not the entire movement. This is something that we need to keep in mind.

It is not only womxn who can be feminist. Men too have the right to be feminist, and we should encourage them to be a part of this movement. Men must be reminded that if they do choose to support the feminist movement, they do not need to possess feminine qualities. They should be part of the movement because they believe in equal rights for their mothers, sisters, and friends. This can only be done through education and explanation. For us to explain the movement, we need to get our concepts right. Once we do that, we can help expand the movement. No matter what feminist ideology you align yourself with, you must remember the end goal is equality for all.

Yes, through the years womxn have fought their way to the top. Womxn are now CEO’s of large companies, have the right to vote, and are even world leaders. But the struggle continues. We should fight for ourselves and the little girls all around the world. And remember, being a FEMINIST is NOT an INSULT.

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