Feminism Today: What Constitutes a Feminist?

Feminism Today: What Constitutes a Feminist?

Grace Ruchala, Writer

One thing that really bothers me  is when women claim that they are not feminists. If you are woman who believes in gender equality then you are a feminist.  I hope that this column informs readers of feminism and how it works.

I realize some women think they are not feminists, but I  feel they just don’t  know what the word  means. The word feminist is synonymous with equality. However, it is called “feminism” rather than “equalism” because it is referring to the feminine traits that are being used to undermine both women AND men.  

What many women think of when they hear the word “feminist”  is crazy, angry women who believe all men are horrible and worthless. That judgement makes people want to distance themselves from the movement. However, THIS IS NOT FEMINISM (though we are angry); this is what is called “misandry” which is the idea that women are better than men and should be treated as such. The male equivalent of this word is misogyny, which is the idea that men are better than women and women are beneath them.

There is an excellent definition of feminism from Beiibis.Tumblr.com: “Feminism is not about burning bras. It’s not hatred for men or a try to imitate them. Feminism is being free to decide who I want to be and how to act. It’s not a shame to demand respect.”  There is also another quote from an anonymous user that is an excellent example of my thoughts for this article: “Claiming that feminism is full of women who don’t fit beauty standards and thus makes the movement invalid is a 100% reason why feminism is valid, you’re trying to discredit women’s voices because you don’t find them attractive, there are old bald greasy yet still completely  respected male politicians out there but you think women should spend time and money on making themselves as physically appealing to you as possible before they dare open their mouths , how is that not a f****** excellent example of why we need feminism?” This quote is one of my favorites and explains everything that feminists find wrong with society, and why we will never stop working towards gender equality.

I have personally experienced, as has almost every single woman on the face of the earth, gender inequality and misogyny in my life. Now that I’m older, I see the problems in these things, and I want to change them for other people. In seventh grade,  I, along with many of my friends, were harassed by the same guy, and even after we told him to stop and he got in trouble with the school, he still went after us, and it was really upsetting. These things need to be stopped and we need to realize that these sorts of are really happening to girls and women everywhere. In seventh grade, I was too afraid to report my harasser’s  behavior, but I hope that this article will help girls to do just that.