Feminism is a growing movement that has created ripples in the sea of humanity, taking the world by storm. As gender roles gradually begin to find balance on the tipsy-turvy scale that is our judgemental society, long oppressed generations of women emerge victorious. They have finally gained the respect they so greatly deserve.
If only it were that simple.
Feminism has brought a certain amount of gender equality with it, but at a cost- great controversy. Somehow over the years, the definition of feminism has changed from equity between the sexes to misandry- the total and complete loathing of the male species. Feminism has been tainted by the idea that to be a feminist means to hate men and disregard their roles in society.
Even worse, a lot of this backlash against feminism has ironically come from women in positions of power. Only last year, upon being asked whether she identified as a feminist, American singer Kelly Clarkson was quoted as saying "No, I wouldn't say feminist — that's too strong. I think when people hear feminist, it's like, 'Get out of my way, I don't need anyone." THIS, coming from the singer who famously sings about how what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Clarkson is just one among many female figures who have been against the idea of being associated with the label. Shailene Woodley, Lana Del Rey, Melissa Leo, and many more have also rejected the idea of feminism.
This is not to say that these figures do not want gender equality. The reason feminism has become so taboo is because we as rising women have completely changed the platform on which we fight for change. Today, many feel that in order to achieve gender neutrality, they must 'fight to the death' and hate men. This is the exact opposite of what feminism is supposed to represent!
If we go back to the roots of the feminist movement, women didn't want to be the superior sex. They simply wanted to be called out as societal and intellectual equals who could achieve just as much as any man could. As Gloria Steinem said, “A feminist is anyone who recognises the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
In order to completely gain the status that the women before us fought so hard for, we need to stop rejecting feminism because it is a man-hating battle to the death. Instead, we need to embrace feminism for what it really is: the fight for a life of equal opportunity, equal struggle, and equal value.
Story originally published on The Tab.