Do you want to become a feminist? Before you answer that inquiry, it is crucial that you first understand what that really entails. Any mention of feminism may bring about a groan of annoyance from some. The movement provides a huge source of controversy in this day and age, because its message is often misconstrued or altogether wrongly portrayed. Media sources tend to focus on the negative aspects of feminism without taking into consideration what beliefs and ideals it actually stands for.
So, what exactly is a feminist, then? Is it a gaggle of shirtless, dreadlock-sporting, cisgender, white women screaming “Free the nipple!” and pushing for the elimination of all males? Perhaps to some extremists it may be; however, that radical “white feminism” is actually not representative of the movement at all. According to Everyday Feminism, “[f]eminism strives to end the discrimination, exploitation, and oppression of people due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, class, and other differences and supports people in being free to determine their own lives for themselves” (Kim). It does not condone the hatred of men and actually serves to help them in many cases.
Now, you may or may not be asking yourself, “Feminism benefitting men? What’s the point of that?!” Believe it or not, crusty, old, white, cisgender U.S. Congressmen at the top rung of the privilege ladder (or close to it, anyway) are not the only men who exist in this world. All who identify as male and do not quantify Mr. Privileged Congressman need feminism to help them achieve equality, as well. For example, Men of Color, men who are transgender, men from poor economic backgrounds, men suffering from mental illness, men who are shunned for s...
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... do goes against who they are, you should not try to defend yourself. Accept it when you are in the wrong, apologize, and try to be more conscious of your actions so you do not repeat the offense. Feminism isn’t about always being right and pushing ideas onto others, it’s about possessing the capacity to grow and fight for the rights of oppressed people.
While there are many basic dos and don’ts of feminism, in the end it is all about fighting against injustice and trying to embetter the world we live in. As long as you keep an open mind and stay ready and willing to adapt your way of thinking, it’s pretty easy to be a feminist. It is a movement for everyone who faces discrimination, not just women with the highest level of privilege they can have. I hope one day the stigma feminism holds can be erased and humans as a species can finally learn to accept each other.
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