Feminists, Stereotypes and Stereotyping in the Media

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Feminists and Media Stereotypes

The media portrays feminists in unflattering ways. Largely because of the media portrayal, the word 'feminist' usually evokes images of crass, butch, men-hating, very masculine women. Many women believe in the feminist doctrine, but they would never consider themselves as a feminist because they cannot relate to the images of crass, butch, men-hating, masculine women. In fact, it has only been within the past year that I've been able to accept the fact that I am a feminist and that my preconceived images of feminists are merely media stereotypes.

I'm now able to admit I care more about my own rights than whether or not someone will assume I fit the media stereotype of a feminsit. Feminism is the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. One doesn't have to hate men, refuse to wear dresses, or be homosexual to be a feminist. Feminism isn't about male bashing, but rather about equality. Now I can (and do) admit freely that I'm a feminist. People may think that means I'm lesbian. They may think that means I hate men. They may think I have some sort of secret agenda. They can be as misinformed or stereotypical as they chose, I just want equal rights.

Yet now I have to wonder why those stereotypes exist and where they stemmed from. Were early feminists "butch" man haters? No. Early accounts from women and men of the time prove otherwise.

* ... the 1848 Seneca Falls convention for a female Bill of Rights provoked editorials about "unsexed women"...which insinuated that they had become activists because "they were too repulsive to find a husband....These women are entirely devoid of personal attractions."...When a supporter, Senato...

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