There is an idea in society that feminism means “man-hating,” and for that reason, feminists are frowned upon. Now, I am a feminist, but I can say that I do not associate myself with the definition society gives a feminist. Feminism, officially defined, is “the theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” A true feminist does not hate men, nor does he or she believe in a matriarchy; rather, a true feminist advocates for gender equality.
In today’s society, there are many cases where people who associate themselves with feminism are actually advocating for a matriarchy, or they are playing into gender stereotypes. This article was first inspired by a video where a state representative was asked “when will there be true gender equality in the government.” The representative responded by saying, “when there are all women in the government because at one point, there were all men.” While in some sense, people can probably understand why this argument makes sense, the reality is, a statement like this only perpetuates gender inequality. It sends the message that feminists are seeking revenge rather than equality, giving feminists a bad rep.
It is true that at one point, our society had a patriarchy; however, the only way to fight this is to create an egalitarian society. Advocating for a matriarchy will only lead to diminished support, but advocacy for an egalitarian society holds much better prospects.
Furthermore, it is important to note that another problem that is held in feminists today is that some still play into gender stereotypes when it comes to certain things, which is why some people attribute feminism with “man-hating.” There are multiple cases seen today where women will claim that it is the man’s responsibility to stop during a sexual situation, or it is a man’s responsibility to ask a girl on a date or to pay for food or a ticket. While all these are stereotypes that have been built into place, if we are to truly advocate for gender equality, we cannot perpetuate these stereotypes. Women should put aside frivolous beliefs and take their own responsibility for certain cases; feminists should also keep themselves from blaming men when certain men do not play into a stereotype. Moreover, in advocating for gender equality, feminists should stop encouraging any gender-based stereotypes.
Feminism will never gain the support it needs if it is linked to negative connotations such as a matriarchy or man-hating. True feminists must convey that gender equality is the only goal of their campaign; with that, there is a chance for a true egalitarian society in America.