Feminism as well as terms such as “woke” have become a highly discussed subject recently with various celebrities as well as politicians describing themselves as feminists and plenty of people proclaiming that it is unnecessary or even harmful. Personally, I am not a fan of the word feminism, as at its core the term really means Equal Rights for Women. Many people believe in the negative stereotype of the angry, man-hating feminist but the reality is that is now what it is about – it is a myth. The truth is it is an important and varied movement that has been around for over a hundred years. It goes back to voting rights in the early 1900s as well as the general, slow moving cause of evolution. As once again, the true meaning of it, as well as terms such as “woke”, is equal rights and opportunities. Not only for women but also for minorities too. There are many myths about feminism but the truth can be very, very different.
All Feminists Hate Men
Feminists believe that women and men should be equal – they deserve equal pay, equal human rights, and the same opportunities. They believe they deserve the same opportunities to capital to start a business, and the same opportuni9ty for promotions at work. As after all, less than 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and even fewer are Black or other minorities. Find ways to support female owned companies, and find a free directory of women owned businesses.
This simple concept of equal right and opportunities has become twisted into the myth that feminists want women to be superior to men and that feminism or being woke is anti-male or affirmative action. This is simply untrue and a myth that is sadly perpetuated by countless others, and it may be caused by a level of ignorance in society. There might be feminists (as well as non-feminists who hate men) but the simple truth is that the concept aims to make the sexes equal. Being woke means equal rights for women as well as others, including LGBTQ, Black, Latinos, and Asians among others – whether in business or other aspects of life. This actually includes solving gendered problems that make the world difficult for men.
All Feminists Viewpoints Are The Same
Feminism in the media tends to be all clumped under one giant heading. People believe in the stereotypical women shouting, wearing combat boots, and burning her bra. The reality is that there are many different beliefs and aims within feminism with the central point being equality of the sexes. It also means the equality of all ethnicities and sexual preferences as well.
Different feminist viewpoints incorporate race, culture, politics, social class, and sexuality. They also encompass business, finance, and entrepreneurship. As an example, people like Sheryl Sandberg and her book “Lean In” focus on the corporate world. There have also been different historical movements, described as “waves”, as the main issues of feminism change along with particular issues facing women like having the chance to earn a wage, vote, and have bodily autonomy.
Only Women Can Be Feminists
Perhaps because of the name “feminism” and its association with womanhood, many people believe that only women can be feminists. This could not be further from the truth, as many males also believe in equal rights of all – including women and minorities. The goal of everyone should be to provide equal opportunities for others, while being aware of their unconscious bias and the fact that past challenges may have impacted opportunities. It is to be aware of systemic racism and sexism.
Negative portrayals of feminism have spread the idea that feminists spend all their time screaming at men and telling them how awful they are. The reality is that feminism wants men and women to be equal and that includes dismantling aspects of the patriarchy that make life difficult for men. For example, a women can and should also be able to be the primary “bread winner” of a family. They should be able to run for office and not be held back by the system. If a person believes in equal rights for both women and men, then they can be a feminist and this includes everyone, regardless of gender.
Feminists Are Angry
The most pervasive myth about feminism is the view that women who believe in this and who push for it are angry, aggressive, and wrathful. This pushes the idea that women are overly emotional and that their views are clouded by fury. But this too is a false and horrible stereotype – as many males also believe in equality for all.
The reality is that most feminists want nothing more than to engage in a clear, calm, and open conversation about feminism so that change can come about. They want to launch a business. They want to earn more money or make social change. They want more opportunities in life. However, sometimes it is necessary and natural to strongly express how important this movement is when people will not listen and sexual inequality is leading to assault, abuse, poverty, and death. Feminists have the right to be angry but the movement does not stem from anger. At its base it is about a love for all people.
Equal Rights for Women Hurts Men
The simple fact is that feminism helps men, no matter their age, race, sexual orientation or belief. It pushes to break gendered views that make it hard for men to express their emotions, break into female-dominated careers, and gain family leave so that they can spend time with their children. The myth that feminism is harmful for men comes from the fact that for women to be treated equally, it is necessary to point out and counteract the ways that societal rules and expectations have elevated men and hurt women.
The point being it is equal rights and opportunities for all – not to take things from other people. Feminism does not want to hurt men. It does not want to take away opportunities, including around business, from males or white men in particular. People who are feminist want men and women to be equal and have access to the same opportunities – that counts for men and for women.
The myths take away from the objective
The myths that surround feminism make it difficult for equality to be achieved and stops many people realizing that they actually believe in some – or all! – aspects of equal rights. The reality of feminism is about much more than just burning bras, and debunking these myths is essential so that we can reach a place of fairness for all people.
By Jon McNamara