(Just Another Common Misconception)
In this modern era many individuals question why we need feminism. Many people assume that women no longer suffer from social inequality, yet that assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth. Unfortunately, feminism is often associated with negative stereotypes and outdated information. The following stereotypes actively contribute to feminism’s unfavorable image. Let me clarify the truth.
Feminists Are Ugly & Parade Around In Birkenstocks Burning Their Bras:
Untrue. No, feminists are not too ugly to get a man. However, societal pressure to conform to ever changing beauty standards has been actively advocated against by various feminist movements. Having a strong passionate mind that challenges the status quo is admirable and beautiful. Feminists come in all shapes and sizes – just like the general population. Birkenstocks – well they are comfy, but no, not every feminist owns a pair. Burning of bras did happen during the 1970’s during movements of liberation, though it wasn’t all that common. Most feminists like the added support of bras – besides they are too expensive to burn now!
Feminists Hate Men:
Untrue. Many men consider themselves feminists. Yes, some feminists dislike men; however, individuals who do not consider themselves feminists also dislike men. The majority of feminists advocate for or genuinely believe in equality for all, not just women.
Feminists Are All Lesbians:
Untrue. Yes some feminists are lesbians, myself included, but most feminists are heterosexual and typically supportive of LGBT rights. This assumption when mixed in with homophobia deters individuals from supporting feminism values.
Feminists Are All Pro-Choice:
Untrue. Yes many feminists are “Pro-Choice” but like any controversial issue there is and will be opposing sides. However, most feminists generally believe there needs to be increased supportive services for mothers who do decide to have children.
Feminists Complain Too Much:
Untrue. Social norms have conditioned the public to believe that women should be agreeable, otherwise they may be called naggy, annoying or a bitch. On the contrary-silence contributes to oppression and social injustice. If it wasn’t for the “annoying bitches” during feminism’s first wave women wouldn’t have the right to vote in today’s elections.
Recently we have started to experience an additional wave of feminism both locally and globally. Throughout social media we have seen “I need feminism because…” this popular movement has raised fundamental reasons why we indeed do need feminism.
Here are some reasons why:
- In Canada women earn 71 cents on every dollar a man earns. This is referred to as the gender wage gap and is still occurring to this day.
- Globally women make up only 17% of parliamentarians.
- Globally 10 million more girls are out of school than boys.
- In Rwanda, up to half a million women were raped during the 1994 genocide.
- FGC is the removal of all or part of the young woman’s genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is most prevalent in parts of West, East, and Northeast Africa, though also practiced in Asia, the Middle East and the immigrant populations of North America and Europe.
- In Nepal, 40 percent of girls are married by age 15.
- In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 percent of young women experience intimate partner violence.
- Gender inequality is a major cause and effect of hunger and poverty: it is estimated that 60 per cent of chronically hungry people are women and girls; 20 per cent are children under 5 years old.
Unfortunately, this list is virtually endless. The truth is that to this very moment women are still treated much more poorly then men. We must understand that when women are still in the forefront of social injustice the children are also directly affected.
Once again feminism has started to garner increased attraction and awareness. Across various countries individuals are sharing via social networking sites, “no makeup selfies” and beginning to boycott female beauty products-moving towards more natural appeals. Is this movement that far off from bra burning? Not really, it’s only an additional way to rebel against social oppressive norms such as the glorified female body.
I applaud this social movement as I believe it empowers all women to re-examine what it means to be female. And yes, it’s much more then makeup and bras. I only hesitate at the reasoning behind these no makeup “selfies”. Is it a trend or do girls truly understand what they are advocating for? Without a doubt it’s a productive movement but time should be spent self-reflecting-understanding the larger social agenda.
Despite what some individuals think feminism is alive and kicking. Feminism developed during the women’s suffrage and is still present to this day. I doubt feminism will be going anywhere until social inequality is achieved – and at this rate, it might be a while. So until that glorious day is achieved all we can do is parade around in our Birkenstocks and burn our bras – and take no makeup selfies! I’m kidding, but we can educate ourselves and others to the unfortunate conflict this is still very prevalent in our lives.