Feminism is one of those things — either you get it or you're completely unsure where you stand. Rights for women have been a hot-button issue since the late 18th century, and the question of whether women are treated equally is still a constant. But there are a few myths about feminism that have been blown way out of proportion, which makes it confusing for everyone. Here, five things people just don't get about feminism:
1. Feminists are angry women.
Nope. Feminists simply want equality for everyone. And when you're passionate about something that is important to you, there's the potential for getting ticked off. Feminists do have the right to be angry when it comes to sexual discrimination, women's rights, and violence against women. There's nothing wrong with that.
2. Feminism is a trendy movement.
There have been a lot of celebrities who have recently tossed their opinions into the ring about feminism — or skirted around the issues. Feminists aren't out to get in your face or force their values on others, and it's a buzzword that's been getting attention since the 14th century. If Beyoncé and Amy Poehler get it right, then so be it. That doesn't mean it's trendy but a topic that needs to be discussed.
3. Feminists are all lesbians.
This kinda makes me sad. Feminists are humans and come from different backgrounds, families, cultures, and sexual orientations. The main goal of feminism is to find equality and understanding for all. And being a feminist doesn't have anything to do with your sexual orientation.
4. Feminists can't be feminine.
Not true. Feminism is about having choices when it comes to gender stereotypes, which means you can be a feminist and choose to express yourself any way you feel comfortable. And I have no problem accepting an open door from a guy — it's better than it being left to slam in my face. I take it as a gesture of human kindness and not his feeling that I'm a silly woman who doesn't understand how a door works. So if you want to wear a dress, wear a dress. If you want to break down the barriers and play tackle football, go for it.
5. Feminism puts all the blame on men.
Feminism isn't about putting all the blame on men. There might be some feminists out there who do hate men and point fingers, but that's their problem. Sadly, some people just don't get along. Sexism exists, but that doesn't mean feminists label all men as evil discriminators. Socially constructed views, like guys needing to be "macho" or "emotionless leaders," are confining. Feminism encourages both men and women to break out of those oppressing stereotypes.
Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Check out Oxygen's Pretty. Strong., which features fierce, fearless women breaking gender barriers playing tackle football as part of the Legends Football League. Pretty. Strong. premieres Oct. 6 at 10/9c.