Taking Back the F Word

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The other day I was talking with my sister about feminism and she said she doesn’t consider herself a feminist. When I asked her why she said, “I believe in equality but I’m not one of those crazy feminists.”

Recently a girlfriend of mine described her teacher as someone who looks like a feminist. She meant this as an insult.

Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost the meaning of the word feminist. It’s become a term that many women are afraid to identify with. It seems as though the mainstream version of a feminist is someone who hates men, never shaves her legs, and looks down upon stay-at-home moms. There have been a slew of female celebrities who have publicly said they are not feminists. Many of them have chosen to call themselves humanists because it’s not as harsh a word. In the end, being a feminist is being a humanist. It shouldn’t be a scary word that evokes visions of angry women chopping off penises.

Feminism also is not about looking down upon women who choose to live a more traditional role. I was reading the comments in an article about stay-at-home moms and one woman mentioned how she tried working after having kids but realized feminism lied to her and she finally stopped working so she could be home with her kids. Sorry lady, but feminism didn’t lie to you. In fact, feminism helped you in that situation by giving you the choice to decide you’d rather stay home than work. Back in the day, this was not a decision women were able to make. They were to stay home with their children. Working was never in the equation.

The actual definition of the word feminism? “The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” That’s it! That is why it always boggles my mind when anyone says they don’t support feminism. So you don’t want to be seen as an equal? If you believe that all people are equal, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.

Here are some things that contrary to popular belief do not factor in at all when it comes to feminism:

1. If you love men. Goes back to the whole equal thing. If you think you’re superior to an entire gender, you may not fully grasp the concept of equality.

2. If you’re married and took your husbands last name. Kudos to you for making that choice. If I ever get married, I plan on taking my husband’s last name. Doesn’t make me any less of a feminist.

3. If you shave your legs, armpits, or any other part of your body.

4. If you’ve had any kind of plastic surgery, including breast implants.

5. If you like wearing high heels, dresses, and/or makeup.

6. If you’re a stay-at-home mom.

7. If you have more guy friends than girl friends.

8. If you love romantic comedies.

9. If you love romance novels.

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10 comments

  1. It’s a huge pet peeve to me when girls are offended to be associated with the word feminist. “noooo I’m not a feminist!” To me if you’re a girl you should be a feminist. Psh realistically I think everyone should be a feminist equal rights!

  2. I KNOW. I have no idea why people still don’t get it. Perhaps, its like that ‘your’ / ‘you’re’ problem that people seem to have. *rolls eyes*

  3. I agree with you. I too have come across people who have a negative understanding of feminism. Feminism is not domination of women over men. Its about being equal, behaving equal, and believing in being equal. It is about being empowered to be able to make your own decisions and having a say in what you want to do with yourself.

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