Maybe this doesn't exactly fit under the 'submit art' section on deviantart, but I tend to use da as a personal thing. On here, I post drawings and poetry, fiction and photographs so I figured, hey, what not just throw this in as well?
As a feminist myself, it's obvious that many, many people have some pretty major misconceptions about feminism. You just have to google the word 'feminism' and about a million pages come up, leading to why feminism is pointless, why all feminists are man hating lesbians etc etc.
I'd just like to take five minutes of anyones time to correct some of these negative views, if that's alright with you
Misconception no. 1
All feminists hate men:
Nope. I myself, quite like men. Some of my best friends are men. Hell, even my own father is a man!
What is a problem for feminists however, is patriarchy.
Patriarchy, in blunt terms, is a system of discrimination by men against women. This doesn't mean men are evil, or even concious of it ('though a lot are, yup).
It basically means that society favours men over women. Feminists (apart from the occasional extremist) want equality of the genders.
What we have a problem with then, is men being treated better than women. For example, getting respected more and getting paid higher wages than a women doing the same job.
It might not seem, to a lot of people, that we live in a patriarchal society. Women are entitled to a lot too. But you just have to think of phrases like "you're such a girl!" to see the negative connotations. Misconception no. 2
Feminists are unfeminine and butch
The fact that I'm sitting here typing this wearing mascara and a dress pretty much kills this one before I've even begun.
Again, entirely untrue. Yeah, sure some feminists probably do appear quite masculine but certainly not all. Some men appear feminine- it's all down to personal choice of how you look.
There are some radicals who think we should learn to live in an androgynous society (like Kate Millet, for example). This means that men and women would look basically the same, except for biological differences. And this'd in theory, mean society was more equal and lessen discriminations.
I do stress though, that very, very few feminists believe this'd be a good idea. I reckon that's bollocks, to be honest though. Just sayin'. Misconception no. 3
Feminists think women are the best and men are inferior
Nope. Feminists stand for equality, as I mentioned a minute ago. Men and women should have equal rights, equal opportunities, equal legal rights, equal status in society.
Men shouldn't come in waiting for their dinner on the table after a day at work, and women shouldn't be slaves to the kitchen and to bringing up children. There's no reason for women not to go to work if they want. There's no reason for men not to be house husbands if they want.
If however, a woman wants to be a housewife and spend her days raising children then it's her right to decide to do that. If a man wants to go to work and be the break-bringer, then that should be okay too.
Misconception no. 4
All feminists are angry radicals.
Nope. I personally can't remember the last time I raised my voice in an argument and have a blessedly laid back personality bordering on type B.
If a man opens a door for me, I'll say 'thank you' and smile because I appreciate when people are polite.
I might get pissed off if I get called 'little miss' or something patronising by a man but that's more of a personal thing, since I loathe being spoken down to.
Misconception no. 5
All feminists are lesbians
Although I'm a lesbian myself, a lot of feminists aren't. My dear ole mum is a feminist and has been sleeping with men exclusively. A lot of my feminist friends are heterosexual and unashamedly drool over Orlando Bloom and Robert Pattison. Similarly, not all lesbians are feminists.
Being a feminist has nothing to do with sexual orientation.
Of course, it'd be wrong to say lesbians haven't played a role in the feminist movement. They have, especially back in the early days of feminism and I'd like to applaud them for that. Misconception no. 6
Men cannot be feminists</i>
Yes, they really can. If a man wants equal rights for women, they well done to him, that makes him a decent human being.
The feminist movement also helps out men as well. If a man wants to do something like cookery or needlework, which is considered 'women's work' then he may be scared of being ridiculed by his peers. But if this is no longer considered an activity only for women, then he doesn't feel any less like a man and he can do what he wants without embarassment or fear. Freedom for all, eh?Misconception no. 7
Feminism is pointless and outdated because women now have equal rights. There's no need for it any more.
It's true, that women have come a long way. Before the feminist movement, we were considered irrational and more stupid than men, we couldn't vote, we got paid far less than men did for doing the same job, we were expected to get married and have kids and spend our lives chained to the oven.
Now? There are laws in place to close the wage gap and we don't have to be a part of a traditional family. We can abort babies legally and safely. Personally, I'm incredibly untidy and I did once burn salad.... But that's another story haha.
On the surface then, it does seem like feminism has sucseeded and is now pretty much dead.
But it's not. There's a lot left yet to tackle. In the words of the actress Ellen Page (you might have seen her in Juno or Inception) "there's no greater proof we live in a patriarchal society than when feminism is considered a bad word."
And that's true, isn't it? 'Cause I bet this will get few views and I may get a couple of comments or messages telling me to go make a sandwich.
Many women are still fighting for respect. This includes in the workplace where women are often sexually harassed, patronised or thought of as incompetant just because of their gender.
It's still expected in a lot of places for a woman to be a knitting house wife and mother and that that is all that defines her.
They're often subject to objectification. Many men will think it's perfectly fine to grope a woman in a bar, just because she's female. Many men will look at a woman and see her face, her boobs, whatever. They won't see a law degree.
And then there's the issue of pornography. Much of it is directed at men, for men's pleasure, often with a submissive woman. There's very little porn marketed at women.
And on the subject of sex, if a woman sleeps with a number of men she's a 'slut' but if a man does it, he's a 'player' and gets a pat on the back from his friends.
Many women still remain in the shadow of men. And there is still a wage gap, albeit a small one.
I'm only talking about the western world here too. I myself am shamefully ignorant about many other cultures, but perhaps you are not. Can you think of any cases where women are seen inferior outside Europe and the US? I'm sure you can.
If you bothered to read this, then thank you kindly! I hope it's been somewhat helpful and enlightening to you.