Feminist. A word that is apparently so obscene and foul that it was included in Time Magazine’s poll of “Which word should be banned in 2015?” last fall. That is, until it was subsequently removed from their list after the backlash they received for choosing to include a serious term about the struggle for gender equality amongst slang terms such as “turnt” and “bae.”
Many people are turned-off by the term feminism because of how the media and television have created an image where feminists are vicious misandrists who want to take over the world or only care about women’s rights and issues.
When explaining to people what feminism is after telling someone that I am a feminist, one of the most common questions I get is, “if it’s about equality, then why is it called feminism?”
If males had been discriminated against due to a matriarchal society and faced sexism in the same ways females have, then the term meninism would be acceptable. However, because it is women that have suffered oppression in a patriarchal society, it is justified to have the name geared toward elevating the status of women to reach that of men because of what they have been denied for so many years.
Just because it has the prefix fem- in it does not mean that the movement does not include men.
Occasionally I’ll find comments on social media posts that try to argue that if feminism is about equality then can a man hit a woman, because apparently equality is measured by whether or not it is okay to physically abuse someone or not. This is an invalid argument and a gross false equivalency.
There are some things in place that make things harder for some men. For example, due to the idea that women are always the nurturing parent, most changing tables are found in women restroom’s making it difficult for single fathers to change their child.
Also, abuse is something that is often seen as a just a women’s issue. When a woman exhibits abusive behavior towards their significant other, it’s almost seen as laughable. Fortunately, in recent years, attention has been brought to this problem. Once again, though it affects men and women, it is a feminist issue.
We still haven’t progressed far enough to take woman on man abuse seriously though. When falling victim from the gender stereotypes placed by society, it is increasingly difficult to be a male and report a domestic abuse case without being accused of being the instigator.
This is the same thing with rape. Many still hold the misguided belief that men can’t be raped, which only proves to further deteriorate our morals as a society.
All of these issues impact women in some way and it’s ignorant and rather petty to think otherwise. We need to start examining the way we teach young people about gender roles so that many of these issue can be expertly dealt with in a rapid manner.