Cindie Chavez – ©2018
Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my besties and she said something that totally shocked me.
This particular BFF bests even me in the glamour department (and I think that is really saying something since I don’t want to leave the house if my nails aren’t done. I own not one but TWO tiaras). But this one, she is a totally gorgeous glamourpuss and she excels in elegance and loveliness (on top of being witty and charming and intelligent.)
But recently someone told her that the world needed her “brand of feminism” – and she didn’t know what to do with that statement.
She exclaimed to me, “But I’m not a feminist!”
(Yes, that’s the part that shocked me.)
Hmmmm. I pondered for a split second. Then I asked…
Why do you say that?
Her: “Well, I don’t know. It’s that whole angry woman with hairy armpits thing.”
(Actually, I think I might have produced a small gasp followed by a quick outburst of nervous laughter – but the shock has me uncertain how I responded until a second later), when I asked…
Do you think that women should get equal pay for equal work?
“OF COURSE!”, she replied immediately, sounding a bit shocked I would even ask her that question.
Well, I asked, “What about women being able to vote?”
“YES OF COURSE!”
Do you think women should be able to have equal education and scholarship opportunities?
I kept asking…about whether she agreed it was right for women to have the freedom to make their own choices about buying a car, getting their tubes tied, being married or not, having a career, owning property, having children, using birth control, ending a pregnancy, having a bank account, owning a credit card…
And of course, she was very enthusiastic about just how on-board she was with all these things.
And as we wound up that part of our conversation, I told her, “I hate to break it to you, but I hold you among my dearest and most beloved feminist friends.”
She didn’t hesitate to be included in this circle, and then she encouraged me to begin writing more about what feminism is, and what it isn’t.
So, this morning I put together a quick list of feminist MYTHS that need to die pronto.
Because anti-feminism is like so many other “antis” – it is full of ugly and hateful untrue stereotypes meant to shame and vilify the groups they are describing.
So, for you my dear glamorous BFF, and all my other female friends who tell me they aren’t a feminist (as with credit card in one hand and car keys in the other they head off to school, or to shop, or to their career) – here’s a quick list examining five feminist myths that need to die pronto.
- Feminists are angry. Feminists feel angry sometimes, just like every other human. Maybe the real myth we need to debunk here is that “anger is bad”. It’s perfectly okay to feel angry, and feminists do feel angry about some things. And that’s okay, because anger is often the catalyst for change. Feminists feel anger, and we also feel love, compassion, happiness, sadness, fear, courage, confidence, joy, orgasmic, exuberant, frustrated, and every other human emotion. The truth: Feminism isn’t about any specific emotion. It’s about equality.
- Feminists are lesbians. Partly true – some of them are, and some of them are not. Some feminists are trans, gay, bi, queer, straight, and – some feminists are MEN. Yes, surprise! Not all feminists are women, a feminist is someone who believes in gender equality – and many men are included in this category. The truth: Feminism isn’t about sexual preference or any specific gender identity. It’s about equality.
- Feminists don’t shave under their arms. Partly true. Some of them don’t. And some of them do. And some wear lipstick, and some don’t. And some like to dress in frills and wear perfume (and a tiara), and have lovely manicured nails. And some don’t. The truth: Feminism isn’t about fashion, or hygiene, or grooming, or hairstyles. It’s about equality.
- Feminists hate men. This is patently untrue. How do I know? Because I am a feminist and I don’t hate men. Plus – I know plenty of feminists who ARE men, so this argument falls apart pretty quickly when you take that one fact into consideration. The Truth: Feminism isn’t about hating men (or anyone else). It’s about equality.
- Feminism only benefits women. False. Feminism is not about replacing the patriarchy with a matriarchy. Traditional gender roles can be as disadvantageous and unrewarding for men as for women, not to mention that with the rise of consciousness about gender discrimination (in the 1970’s, thanks to the “feminist movement”) laws were changed to benefit and protect men as well as women. (Raise a glass to Ruth Bader Ginsberg.) The truth: Feminism is not about women taking over the world at the expense of men. It’s about equality.
Women are 51% of the world’s population yet they hold only 23.6% of the world’s parliamentary seats. And this number is no better when looking at just the U.S. – where women hold just 25.4% of the state legislature seats (2018) and where the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court has only 3 of the 9 seats held by women.
There is an idea that equality feels like oppression to those that have had the upper hand.
Some are convinced that feminism is a belief system designed to oppress men, led by a band of angry (and hairy!) women who hate men and only care about themselves. And this is a conspicuous falsehood – a lie – promoted by those who are worried that their own power would be diminished.
But the truth is that feminism is about equality. And equality benefits everyone.
More by Cindie:
Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONTREAT™ – and she has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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