According to the New York Times, 82 percent of Americans don’t consider themselves feminists. That is over 8 in every 10 people. According to the Huffington Post, only 23 percent of women identify as feminists and 16 percent of men. However, this isn’t consistent with people’s beliefs. If you know the meaning of the word feminism, the actual meaning of the word without being bogged down with the unrealistic expectations and lies that different parts of society put on the word, you would think most Americans are terrible people. You would think that the reason people don’t identify as feminists is because they don’t support gender, legal or any kind of equality. After all, feminism is the idea that all people should be able to begin on the same playing field — equality across the board.
Well, in reality, most Americans do believe that. According to a poll from Vox, 85 percent of people surveyed said they supported equality between genders. 78 percent believed that there should be social, legal and political equality between genders. Many people in the United States, the majority, in fact, believe in the tenants that are espoused by feminism. So it’s somewhat perplexing that people don’t always identify as feminists.
For whatever reason, people feel like feminism is a very loaded word. People believe that if we call ourselves feminists, we might be excluding men or that we exclude anyone who is not a woman. People believe that when we take on that identifying factor, we will morph into women with short haircuts, unshaved armpits who think we need to dismantle the patriarchy. While there are certainly women who are feminists who fit that description, feminism is composed of people and, just with any movement or group of people, this means that we all bring in our different unique experiences, beliefs and interests. We bring our personalities with us. So, not all feminists are anything but people who believe in equality.
Because we know that a feminist is, at the very core, simply a person who believes in equality for humanity, we should all identify as feminists.