Feminism is unfortunately one of the most commonly misinterpreted and misconstrued words out there. Before I continue with this post, let's take a quick look at the definition:
the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
When I read this definition, I personally can't think of a single reason not to support the very basis of the word. Equality is something that every person deserves, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, or any other label that we place on each other, despite the fact that none of these labels can be changed or chosen. This strive for equality stems from issues like the lack of female suffrage in the 19th century to the lack of legal education for women in many countries today. Feminism has evolved and is still evolving into new and improved forms as time goes on. Currently, women are championing intersectional feminism, an all-inclusive "update" of the movement, that reflects the views and struggles of all types of people. However, no matter how many updates we go through, some people are still stuck on iOS 2.4.1, or as they like to call it, "supporting traditional values" or "doing things the good, old-fashioned way." Don't get me wrong, it is okay to believe in both of those prior statements, but the problem arises when they are applied to something as straight-forward as wanting equal rights.
Recently, I've been coming across headlines such as "I Am Not a Feminist, And That is Okay" or "Kellyanne Conway: Feminism associated with being ‘anti-male’ and ‘pro-abortion’." Not only do both of the women in these articles deface feminism, but they do so through falsehoods. Feminism isn't about being man-hating, anti-family, or anything else that isn't simply wanting equality. Sorry to break it to you, but without all of the work feminists have done for us so far, we wouldn't have a lot of the rights we take for granted today, This caricature of the "angry feminist" needs to go. Because in reality we're not just angry, we're infuriated. It's time to stop making assumptions off of stereotypes and preventing society from moving forward, simply because of misconceptions. The sooner we appreciate feminism for what it is, the sooner we can make progress. After all, the future is female.
Happy International Women's Day!