Feminism: the new F word?


Cartoon depicts the difference between a Feminist and a Man-Hater

When someone mentions the word “feminist,” what comes to mind? Is it the women who fought for suffrage in the 1920s, maybe the women who led the Women’s Liberation movement in the 1970s, or is it the modern radical women who have been coined “Femi-Nazis” by Rush Limbaugh, a Republican talk show host, in terms of their beliefs? So, how did a word that once inspired girls everywhere to get out and make change turn into a derogatory insult?

Well, truth is, it’s always been an insult. Being called a feminist during the suffrage movement was considered treason to the mostly male, white collar government. Now, to the internet and many others, feminism is considered a form of “cancer.”

We can look back to the brave women in the Women’s Suffrage Movement to find out what feminism was like back in the 1920s, but no matter what these women practiced, nothing practiced then is nearly similar to “feminism” today. This form of feminism is known as “New age feminism”– individuals who identify with this movement stand solely for the empowerment of women or anybody who identifies as a woman, with pro-choice, pro-equality, and pro-femininity values. New Age feminism is very unique, due to having multiple versions of the same ideologies– like a hierarchical pyramid. From eco-feminism, where advocates say that paternalistic/capitalistic society has led to a harmful split between nature and culture, at the bottom of the pyramid, to radical feminism, a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male supremacy is eliminated in all social and economic contexts at the top, each level being more condensed than the last.

Why is modern feminism considered a “cancer” in our modern world? Well, it’s simply due to the  hypocrisy and the radical women who take it just one step too far. As a fellow woman and egalitarian, which is a person who believes in TRUE equality between every sex, gender, minority, and majority,  I understand that in the past there was a need for such radical behavior, but with all the progressive movement being made in terms of wage gaps and political standings, there’s no need to tear down a patriarchy that is now favoring women. In terms of hypocrisy, isn’t the original idea of feminism “the equality of the sexes”?  If that’s the word’s true meaning, then today’s “feminism” isn’t focusing on the same thing our great-grandmothers were fighting for. With women practicing political lesbianism, the act of changing sexuality to spite the male counterpart whether one’s sexual orientation was straight or not, to women spiting men for every blight that comes their way, this modern age feminism seems more “anti-male” than “equality of the sexes.”

When asked what a typical radical feminist would say, several MCHS students responded with “All men are rapists.” To the contrary, the research states that an average feminist would disagree. It might only have been said once, but it can’t be unsaid. Sadly, it’s the one feminist soundbite that most men remember.

So, what now? How do we as a growing “equal” society help get rid of the negative connotation that is attached to this word? It’s simple. To cut off the negative image that the hypocrisy and radicals caused to the word, you have to ditch the word as a whole.  See, when you have a word that directly translates to the advancement of one gender, there will always be the issue of true equality. This is where the idea of true equality factors in, resulting in egalitarianism. I believe that if you truly stand for the equality of the sexes, than not only are you not a feminist, but you’re an egalitarian. We can be the generation to make things different; we can follow in the footsteps of our ancestors and make change in the world. One word at a time.