Is feminism becoming the new F-word

Is+feminism+becoming+the+new+F-word

What do you think of when you hear the word “feminist?”
Maybe you think of a lesbian, pro-abortion, man-hating woman. Perhaps you think of a perpetually single, sexist, hairy-legged woman.
There are few other words in the English language that instill such an instantaneous – and usually negative – response in men and even women. Feminism has become the new F-word.
I used to think that a lot of the stereotypes surrounding feminism were true. I began my first Women’s Studies class at the start of the semester and didn’t know what to expect from it.
The semester is halfway over and I have already gained so much from the class – I’ve even decided to minor in Women’s Studies.
Feminism is one of the topics that I have gained a better understanding of. By definition, feminism is the belief that there should be political, economic and social equality of the sexes.
Yes, originally, feminism was created to obtain desperately-needed women’s rights. Now, in the Western world, most women have the same rights as men.
Feminism has now morphed into a new phase – social equality. We have the principle rights – now it’s time to change the harmful and frustrating perceptions that a lot of people (men and women alike) have with feminism.
Modern feminism is about eradicating the misogyny and harmful gender stereotypes that affect everyone – not just women.
At its core, feminism is about equality, fairness and tolerance; the fact that people still don’t grasp these principles is probably why feminism is still seen as a bad thing.
I never considered myself a feminist before – but now that I think about it, I’ve been a feminist for most of my life.
When I was younger, I could never understand why I was called bossy when I wanted to be in charge of playground games while the boys who wanted to be in charge were praised.
I never understood why it was OK for boys to go without a shirt in public, but when girls did it, it was considered inappropriate.
The one thing that I really didn’t understand – and still don’t understand to this day – is why some people can make so many judg ements and assumptions about others, solely based on their gender.
Today’s feminism movement in the Western world is about creating social equality – for both men and women.
Women shouldn’t be paid less because they have different anatomical parts. Men shouldn’t be discouraged to share their feelings because they have different anatomical parts.
One of the things I hope to do with my minor is work toward demolishing the stigma against feminism.
Once everybody realizes that feminism is actually a good thing that we need in society, we can begin to move forward and create a world that everybody – men and women alike – is comfortable living in.

SAMANTHA GRISWOLD
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