True feminism is for everyone

Claire Clements, Executive Editorial Page Editor

The Oxford dictionary defines feminism as the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. 

The definition of feminism is “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” 

Neither of these definitions says women should be treated better than men, that all men should be kicked out of office or anything else of that sexist nature. 

However, this is often the reputation associated with feminists, and it’s something that needs to be clarified: this is not feminism. 

Regardless of the exact phrasing of the definition of feminism, all feminism is based on the equality of men and women, not for women to be better than men. 

Many people ask, “Then why is it called feminism, and not equality or humanism?” There are two reasons for this. 

First, while both genders face their trials in life, women are generally the underprivileged gender. 

One in five women will be raped in their lives, and one in 71 men will be raped in their lives. 

In 2018, women made 85% of what men earned for the same job. 

Tampons and other menstruation products are taxed as luxuries and therefore have a higher price than those taxed as necessities, despite the fact that for the majority of women, they are necessities. (It’s important to note, a variety of non-necessities men’s products are taxed as necessities, such as Viagra)

This is just in the United States; in other countries, women lack the right to education and so much more. 

There’s no doubt that women, historically and presently, are facing issues that infiltrate their everyday lives, just because they were born as women. 

Secondly, the reason for calling it feminism and not humanism is that often, the discrimination men face are because they exude characteristics that are considered feminine. 

In 2017, the suicide rate for men was 3.5 times higher than women, which is often related to the concept of toxic masculinity

When you look at what toxic masculinity is, however, you’ll notice the features men are so often criticized for (showing emotions, not being muscular) are features often associated with women. 

Feminism means advocating for the treatment of females and feminine qualities to be equal to those of males and masculine qualities. 

There are people who ideologically are feminist, but do not call themselves that as a result of the reputation that all feminists hate men. To put it simply, hating men is not feminism, it’s misandry.

You should not hesitate to identify yourself as a feminist because rather than being part of a reputation of hating men or wanting women to be treated better than men, you can change the reputation. You can make feminism what it was intended to be: a peaceful, supportive movement for men and women alike. 

Follow Claire (@cclements825) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.