When did this become such a dirty word?
I recently conducted a survey on the subject. There were 30 participants, all from diverse ages, religions, ethnicities and ideological viewpoints. My first question was ‘what is feminism?’ The responses were varied. However, two common themes emerged: people believe feminism is solely about women’s rights and people believe that feminists are, for the most part, angry women who hate men.
As a researcher my initial hypothesis that people’s reactions to feminism would be largely negative was affirmed. As a young woman passionate for equality and justice, my heart was broken. How had feminism become such a dirty word?
What I find most intriguing about people’s extreme reactions to the term ‘feminism’ is that in most cases people have no idea what the term ‘feminism’ even means. In fact, upon conducting my survey I found that 65.52% of people had never done scholarly research on feminism.
So what is feminism? A quick Google search provides the following reputable definitions. Feminism is:
“The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities” – Merriam Webster Dictionary
“The belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way” – Cambridge Dictionary
“The advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” – The Oxford English Dictionary
“The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” – Dictionary.com
So, what is feminism? It is equal rights for men and women. It is not demonizing men, it is not saying that men and women should be exactly the same and it is not advocating that women deserve more than men. It is, quite simply, equality.
Anyone who says anything contrary is not a feminist. They are an extremist and I am so sorry for the ways they have burned you. I too have been wounded by an extremist who called herself a feminist and to this day I struggle to differentiate the two. This is why I created Alexandra Lydia.
From this platform, consisting of this website (alexandralydia.com), my facebook page (Alexandra Lydia) and instagram (alexandraalydiaa) I will be striving to get back to the heart of what true feminism is. My goal is to engage, equip and empower you to strive for equality and justice.
I will be sharing stories of the badass feminists, male and female, throughout history, debunking popular myths about feminism, discussing why feminism is relevant and approaching current events through the lens of feminism. With hard facts and a touch of humor, I hope to rebrand feminism, because it is not a dirty word.
Feminism is empowering, feminism is relevant and feminism is for everyone.
So, are you ready?