Over the past few years, the feminist movement has been beaten down and given a negative connotation, but it’s only being misunderstood.
The definition of feminism simply means believing that women are equal to men and should be held accountable for that in all areas such as payment and treatment. However, due to spread of propaganda and social media, this word has been translated to “a group of angry women who hate men.” The word has been given a completely different meaning. Women are afraid to identify with the word and men are deterred from women who do.
If you use any social media platform, you are sure to find something anti-feminist. For example, in 2014 a Twitter account known as the “Meninist page” was created that accumulated over 1 million followers. This page was specifically designed to make fun of women, push chauvinistic ideas and bring down the feminist movement. This spread the idea that feminists hate men, women are crazy, and that the double standards between men and women didn’t exist or were exaggerated.
This wasn’t the only account to do this. These ideas influenced a lot of people and ruined their mindset on the topic. It’s not just men either; women fell into the same mindset that being a feminist is bad. With the power of social media, this wave of ignorance resulted in misinforming users and eroded the entire purpose and effectiveness of the movement.
Being a feminist, despite what you may read on the internet, is actually a really wonderful thing to be apart of regardless of your gender. Starting from nothing, feminism is what helped give women the capability to live the lives they do today. These ideas are what gave us women’s suffrage in the 1920s, it’s what brought women in the workforce in the 1940s, and it’s what ultimately triggered the feminist movement itself in the 1960s.
Today, feminists stand together to support women of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community and victims of assault or injustice. This movement possesses so much power from what it has done and what it can continue to do. Thinking back to the role women used to have, you were expected to only get married and have kids. Now, the future for a woman is full of opportunities.
This movement is what allows young girls to believe they can be the breadwinners in their family when they grow up, or choose to never start a family if they don’t want one. Feminism empowers women to dress how they want and not be judged or objectified. It allows them to speak their minds, and be listened to. It’s what gives women the confidence to call out their abusers and, sometimes, get the justice they deserve.
Though the movement has come a long way, there is still a lot to be done, especially for minority women. Creating this change is as simple as fact checking before you share something on social media, or raising our daughters to believe they are capable of anything. Being a feminist simply means that you believe women are strong and capable. It’s what unites women together and teaches them how to empower each other while living in a world that wasn’t created for them. Men and women should be proud to call themselves a feminist.