Feminist Fridays #4: All About Feminism


I recently received a comment on my blog on FF #2 about Emma Watson. The commenter said in response to me:

I know he’s not aha. And I know the way you are defining feminism, but the definition seems a little different than what feminists are actually doing. I agree (mostly, not entirely) with the last video, although I thought all three had good points. It’s more how feminists (the extreme feminists if you will) portray themselves and how that might actually be detrimental to boys/men.
I get that you don’t hate men. I get that you have an outgoing, independent personality and I admire that. I’m not attacking you at all. I’m just trying to see if I can reconcile these two opposing ideas for myself, you know?

I want to break this down.

So how do I define feminism?

I define it the way I’ve been raised to and the official dictionary definition, which is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” Here is the link to the Urban Dictionary definition, which elaborates more.

What are feminists doing?

According to this commenter, feminists are acting differently than the definition. I’m not fully up to date on everything feminism going on, but I do know about a few things that ahve happened recently.

Malala Yousafzai is still advocating for girls’ education and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Emma Watson spoke at the UN about her new campaign, HeForShe, which tries to get men involved in the feminist movement.

Taylor Swift has said a few things about feminism in 2014.

And that’s just what I know. All of those women have not been shaming or discriminating against women. They have been advocating for equality.

Where are people getting the idea that the word “feminism” is synonymous with “man-hating”?

I know of, but do not personally know, “feminists” who think they are better than men. This is not feminism.

I have seen this portrayed once in the media by, unfortunately, the otherwise wonderful Shailene Woodley. She said she wasn’t a feminist because she didn’t hate men. This really disappoints me. Her entire fanbase of young teenage girls are going to try to reflect her, and probably won’t be feminists because of this. Which makes me very sad.

I found this article on the web and found it very enlightening. If you’re interested in learning more about why feminism is being called man-hating, click that link!

What I Learned:

  • feminism started in the late 1700’s
  • about misandrists
  • that people are irrational [but I kind of already knew that…]
  • men wanted to keep power so they basically called feminism man-hating [I am not blaming all men]

Are you a feminist? Has this been enlightening? Tell me in the comments below.

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13 thoughts on “Feminist Fridays #4: All About Feminism

  1. Funny, I was just in a debate with an MRA today about how awful feminists are and thstthey ignore or advocate men’s issuss . I love the article you shared about the feminists and misandrists. I had to find and follow the author.

  2. YES, YES, YES to all of this! I adore Shailene Woodley, but that comment was kind of disappointing. :-( I completely agree with everything you’ve said. Love this post!

  3. Pingback: Weekly Wrap-Up #21 | Free As a Girl With Wings

  4. Yes I’m definitely a feminism and it makes me sooo frustrated when people think it’s about hating men. Gosh. It’s not that hard to google and educate yourself if you’re unsure, right?! I’m sad Shailiene Woodley said that but I’ve heard celebrities say a number of uneducated opinions that just have me growling and stomping off. But whatever. They’re human too and make mistakes. Shailene Woodley seems like SUCH a feminist for most of her actions anyway. *shrugs*
    But totally agree with this! WELL SAID.

  5. Before I go into my long spiel (which you do not have to read, obviously. And please don’t take anything I say personally), I do urge you to watch this video. It’s the longest (sorry), but I think it’s the most level-headed one and I hate that she was forced to delete her account because people were threatening her. Also it might provide some background for the next comment… I apologize in advance…

  6. I don’t know if I’m flattered or scared that my comment inspired this post. Mostly because I’m afraid I’m not going to make anything better with this comment. But reading your post and reading the comments… I understand that it’s not about hating men. I knew that before this post. I get that there are extremists and they do hate men. As the article says, “You don’t have to look very hard to find examples of “feminists” who hate men.” And I know that no movement should be judged by their extremists.

    “Feminism asks both men and women to critically think about those normalized behavior and its impact, and holds people accountable to sexist thinking and behavior even if they didn’t initially realize it was sexist.” He’s referring to how people view feminists and what the actual goal of feminism is. Which sounds amazing, but I find something inherently wrong with this statement. I just don’t agree that all “sexism” is bad. Because the fact of the matter is, there are two sexes (since we’re defining, a male part and a female part are required to reproduce. Hence, two sexes). Historically, there were different roles that need to be filled. Biologically/psychologically/physically/genetically, men (in general) are able to do what woman (in general) cannot and vice versa. Men cannot make babies; therefore in order to procreate, they must protect the females who can make the babies. (Makes sense, right?) Nowadays, it seems like women have to do everything men do. I do not find anything wrong with this; everyone should be treated equally and have equal opportunities. But that doesn’t mean everyone is EQUAL. Men and women are NOT equal. Men and women have different needs and different priorities and, frankly, different limitations. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other, it’s just how it is.

    “While an understandable response to this idea for men is a defensive one, considering so many of the bad things in history have been caused by men (by so many, I mean, like, all of them). That’s also a positive response, because it means you’re accessing empathy.”
    I will agree that men cause these problems because men are the ones that have been in charge. HOWEVER. He seems to imply that things would be different if women were in charge, or even if women had more a voice. Which I totally disagree with. Just look at how many women want to join the army. And then we go back to my point earlier. Historically, these are decisions men have HAD to make. I am a ruler. You threaten my people. I will attack you. How is that not logical? Maybe it’s not “right” but everyone has a different definition of that (she cannot help but say sarcastically) so what does that matter? The point is that MAN (by which I mean the HUMAN SPECIES) is flawed. So who are we to judge what people have done in the past? Would women really have reacted differently? The mean girl stereotype exists for a reason.

    “I’ll be the first person to admit that there are a lot of gender-based men’s issues to address. Like why young men today are less likely to graduate from college, attain a high GPA, be active in extracurricular organizations or seek leadership roles; or why men in general have always been more likely to be caught up in the criminal justice system or be homeless. These are real issues, surely, and things our society should work to correct.
    The mixed feelings about addressing men’s issues tend to stem from the fact that “men’s issues” tends to be the default in our society. We’re a male dominant society. . . .
    Many feminists are concerned that addressing men’s issues (or gender issues as a broad goal) will move the conversation completely away from women’s issues, resulting in no progress for the women’s part of the gender progress.”
    Okay, he clearly explained why feminists only focus on the issues that pertain to them. As a movement, that makes sense. But seeing as feminists advocate equality for ALL sexes, I find this to be a little selfish? Is homelessness really not an issue because it doesn’t affect women as much? And why is that exactly? Why are there more homeless MEN than women? I’m speculating when I say this, but could it be because women are actually not as oppressed as they think they are? I’m currently waiting to hear back from the colleges I have applied to. Do you know what my biggest fear is? That I’ll be accepted out of pity because I am a Hispanic female. If I’m not cut out for whatever college I applied to, I don’t want an acceptance. The only thing assuaging this fear is that my grades actually are at the level they want. I love it because it means I have a fair shot. Not because of my gender, but because of what I am capable of.

    “men wanted to keep power so they basically called feminism man-hating [I am not blaming all men]”
    [I understand] First, it is natural to try to hold on to a sense of control and power. For example, it took a lot of effort to get women the right to vote. There were both men AND women who were not necessarily happy with that decision. They changed the law before they changed the mindset of the people (another example of this would be slavery and civil rights for non-white-males). As far as the quote, though, I think it is the feminist’s fault that they are called man-haters. Not the ones who advocate equal rights, but the ones who threaten and lie to benefit themselves. The ones who blame the “patriarchy” for their problems. Since women hadn’t changed the mindset of the men and forced the law on them, it makes sense that men would be offended and come back with the offensive term of “man-hating”. It’s not right, but that’s what it is. And I also have to add. It is men, of course, who allowed this law, and countless others, to be passed. Why would any privileged male let that happen when he is the one with the power? Women have power and I think they are using it entirely wrong.

    One last note, I swear this is the last one. “Malala Yousafzai is still advocating for girls’ education and won the Nobel Peace Prize.”
    I read a brief summary of what she did and I applaud her. It takes guts to stand up to injustice like that. If boys are getting an education, girls should be allowed an education as well. But that is not the mindset in the Middle East. At all. In this case, it’s the values instilled by their religion. America is not a “Christian nation.” But America does have values that allows itself to be more tolerant towards change. Yet another thing to add, since I’m already being really controversial.

    PS: obviously not every idea I have it 1. right or 2. fully formed. It’s a process and hopefully it will benefit both of us? Thank you for not attacking me. I’m not trying to attack you. Or even change your opinion. I just think it’s nice to have both sides presented. Not that I’m claiming to be “the other side” when there is so much I don’t know..

  7. I’m sure you’re sick of my comments by now… sorry…
    But I did find this, and I thought it was interesting…

    Taylor Swift: Never, Ever, Ever a Feminist
    T-Swift tells Vanity Fair that the media portraying her as “some clingy, insane, desperate girlfriend” (as opposed to a “woman
    writing about her feelings in a confessional way”) is straight-up “sexist.” That being said, the songstress doesn’t call herself a feminist: “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.”

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