Growing up in a country where I had no restrictions whatsoever, coming back to Pakistan was like facing the real world. I grew up in a household where daughters and sons were treated equally; we worked on chores together and when my brother was taught how to change a car tire, I learned too.
Naturally, I grew up believing that men and women were equal and was labelled as a ‘feminist’ by our generous society. I was fine with it though, my perception about stereotypes was different than theirs, but that’s a different debate altogether.
Now, I was fine with being a feminist. It was just a label right? Everything’s good.
Boy, was I wrong.
As time went on and my social circle grew, I met people who were ( no surprise here ), already aware of the tag I was walking around with. That meant answering questions that offended me back then- but overtime, it became second nature answering them altogether.
Since some of you might have a boat load of questions about feminists and feminism in general; I’ve decided to clear out some of your common misconceptions about them:
- Misconception #1:
“Feminism is essentially about male bashing”
No, it really isn’t human. You’re comfusing the term misandry with it. By definition, feminism means, ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’
All we really want is to be treated equally and fairly. A feminist does not get upset when you don’t open the door for her as an obligation, nor does she mind being hit with a ball in the field because trust me; when she steps into that field, she knows what she’s getting herself into.
Our agenda for equality has nothing to do with hating men, and we certainly don’t go on hunting sprees whenever we see them. We don’t judge all men to be chauvinists or sexists simply on the basis of gender. What we really do want to kill is the patriarchy system and the idea that men are superior. A ‘feminist’ who hates men is no feminist ladies.
- Misconception #2:
“Feminists love all women alike”
The fight is against anyone and everyone who supports patriarchy, whether they are a male or a female. Women are equally responsible for letting the nation get devoured by patriarchy ever since our society has been formed.Just like every man may not be a patriarch, not all women support equal rights. There are some women who promote regressive notions about how women have, are, and will always be inferior to men since ‘this world is a dangerous place and women are small helpless creatures (kind of like puppies and kittens) who need to be looked after and protected’; And, that is precisely the mindset feminism aims at eradicating. Hence, gender does not matter. Real feminists despise women who advocate matriarchy as much as they hate the supporters of patriarchy.
- Misconception #3:
“Only women can be feminists.”
Just like beliefs can be held by anyone regardless of gender; feminism too is an idea and can be supported by anyone. You don’t have to be an animal to support animal rights, right? Similarly, you don’t have to be a woman to realize the crucial need to give them their rights. Anyone who believes in the idea of giving women their rights is a feminist; men included. In fact, a large number of men are feminists around you.
This one’s for all those incredible men: You don’t have to be ashamed of being a feminist just because the society you live in doesn’t realize the importance of the very idea being advocated. Flaunt it human! Be proud of what you believe in.
- Misconception #4:
“Feminism is the fight for Matriachy”
There is no hidden agenda that women are working towards. We don’t dream about the day we’’ll take over the world; running as CEO’s, Presidents, being listened to closely when we speak and lashing out on men who dare exceed our level of power. Okay, maybe a sadistic ‘feminist’ might dream about it. But that’s just scary man. *shudders*
It is not power and supremacy that women want. We don’t want to prove our worth. We’re already aware of that (how could we fight for our rights by thinking of ourselves as unworthy?). We just want to stand on the same pedestal as men do.Real feminism disapproves of matriarchy as much as it scorns the patriarchal set up.
- Misconception #5:
“Feminists want it easy.”
This particular one boils my blood sometimes. Not going to lie, I’ve come across “feminists” who want equal pay, but moan under the equal amount of work they get.
Feminists understand the different between equality and privilege. You can’t expect to get equal pay when you can’t afford to do the same about of work as your male colleague.
Ladies and Gentlemen, these are just a few misconceptions that people usually have regarding feminists. I can’t force my perception onto you, but I can advise you all to judge a person inside and out when they support a cause and why they support it instead of labelling them as the general stereotype that exists in our society.
Have any of you ever talked to a feminist or male feminist before? Let us know by commenting!