Feminism is defined by the Oxford dictionary as ” the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. Mirriam Webster defines it as, “the belief that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities “. These definitions seem very simple and basic, one would think everyone would go along with it, unfortunately, that’s not the case.
When a lady introduces herself as a feminist, what people see is a bitter woman and what they hear is, “I hate men, I do not want children, I am rude and I would love to walk around naked.” Also, when a man introduces himself as a feminist what most people hear is, ” I am lonely, please pick me ” or ” I have a female partner who is controlling me and would end me if I do not say so.”
These misconceptions make people not want to identify with the term feminist because they know it would affect the way people see them, negatively, so they say things like, “ I am not a feminist but I think women should be paid the same amount if they do the same work or things like ” I’m a feminist and I love cooking for my husband, yes we exist” or things like “I am not a feminist, I want to receive gifts from men. ”
Many people hate Feminists because they think feminists are trying to oppress men, some other people think feminists are just playing victim, have nothing to fight for and just want to have things easier than everyone else. One time, I read an article that implied that women should channel the energy they use Feminism to carving a niche for themselves in the Patriarchy because carving a niche in a Patriarchal society will mean more, than in a normal society.
It is easy to say this from a place of privilege because how would someone who is not educated and married off before they are twelve going to find it easy to carve a niche for themselves? , how would a person who is killed because they left an Abusive marriage going to carve a niche? or a person who is sick because of the unavailability of good health care?
This not to force everyone to be feminist, this is to say, acknowledge that there is a problem and understand the concept of Feminism before you hate it so much.
It is also important to know that while all feminists have the same belief as feminist, as women they might want very different things and might not even get along much. So one feminist does not speak on behalf of all feminist and that being a feminist can not entirely define who a person is.
“Some people ask, “Why the word Feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. feminist is, of course, part of human rights in general – but to choose to use the vague expression, “ human rights” is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human”. —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie