Equality—that’s literally all we’re asking for

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Courtesy of Creative Commons

Maggie Kahn, Sports Co-Editor

While trapped in quarantine, my two best guy friends and I were Facetiming when we stumbled upon a very emotional, heated topic: feminism. 

I wouldn’t describe myself as an extreme liberal when it comes to my political views, but the stigma this term carries makes my blood boil. 

When I asked one of my friends what he believed feminism meant, he said “it means that women deserve better treatment than men. At least, that’s what some feminists advocate for.” 

While I agree with part of his statement, part of it I do not. I understand that some women use feminism in negative ways, but, at its core, feminism means men and women should be treated equally. 

At its root, feminism simply means the support of women’s rights relating to equality of the genders. That’s it. Feminists stand for women and men being treated the same way.

After trying to explain this to my friends, I came to realize that most people who oppose feminism do so on the basis of the extreme feminists. These extremists use feminism as a means to make women seem superior to men and as an excuse to be outwardly rude to men. While these women are entitled to their own interpretation and expression of feminist ideals, their portrayal of the term is inaccurate.You aren’t a feminist if you support misandry. 

There are extremists in every organization. They’re found in every religion, every political group. But to label feminists as a men-hating cult just because a handful of its participants misrepresent what feminism stands for would be the same as saying Catholicism and other religions promote violence because a handful of its participants use terrorism to spread messages. It’s not logical to incorrectly classify a group based on a few bad outliers.

Feminism promotes equality by fighting against the double standards of society. Girls cannot wear clothes that are “too tight” or “too short” (because then they’d be asking for negative attention from men); they cannot go on dates with several different men (for fear of seeming “easy”); they cannot burp, swear or yell in public (because it’s simply unladylike). Feminism serves to stand against the unfair expectations and restricting rules women are supposed to follow. Feminism actively breaks these stereotypical, degrading demands placed on women by society. It is so firmly ingrained in even the most liberal of people to maintain the perfect, innocent, quiet, sweet image of a woman.

All in all, feminism fights for the right of women to do whatever their hearts desire without judgment or criticism. It’s 2020, and yet people still have skewed perceptions about what we feminists stand for. So, women and men alike, it’s our responsibility to promote the correct definition of feminism if we ever want recognition. While we demand respect and equality, we must also clarify what feminism means for those who have been taught a completely misguided lesson.