What Feminism Is Really About

What Feminism Is Really AboutI feel like there are a lot of misconceptions about feminism. Mainly, that it's all about man hating. As a feminist, I feel like I have to clear that up.

What feminism is:

  • Wanting equality for men and women
  • Women wanting the same rights, chances and privileges that men have
  • Equal pay for equal work (If we’re doing the same work, why should men get paid more?)

What it's not:

  • Man-hating
  • I feel like I have to repeat this: feminism is NOT man hating

Despite what you may think I'm not here to turn you all into feminists. I just wanted to clear up some of the misconceptions. Whether or not you classify yourself as a feminist its important to understand what it's really about.

If you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it.

-Emma Watson


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What Guys Said 42

  • The more women cry out, "Hey wait, feminism isn't about all that man hating you've seen!" The more I laugh. Soon, calling a woman "femnazi" will be as brutal as calling her a slut or a whore.

    It doesn't matter what the core idea is/was, it matters what the people do. It's like how islam *might* be a peaceful religion, but it is now synonymous with "brutal, barbaric terrorism" because that's what muslims have done with it.

    Oh, and there is no pay gap. Men are willing to work longer hours, commute farther, and major in tougher things. (English won't make you as much cash as Engineering, duh.) Hence, men make more.

    Unless you're talking about women and men in their 20's, then in that case, women out earn men on average by a few points.

  • I agree 1000% with what Emma Watson said. People just focus on the word, when they should focus on the meaning of it. Many people still believe it's man hating even when they read the definition of Feminism. But the problem comes from women that are man-haters and call themselves feminists. They're the ones that make more noise, the ones people hear the most about, so it creates this false image of what feminism is.

    I'm a feminist, I support women's equality to men. It's not just something moral, believing we're all humans and both genders deserve the same respect, but thinking close about it, having women at the same level as men will benefit the society as a whole.

  • There are a variety of views that fall under the umbrella of feminism. Some of them are clearly not egalitarian. Yet they are still considered 'feminists'.

    I've said elsewhere, that would 'feminism' really seems to mean is a belief that women's rights or position in society relative to men needs to be improved. People who don't hold that view and believe in equality are unlikely to describe themselves as feminists. Yet I think all self-described feminists would hold that view. So I'd suggest that's what it -really- means.

    By that definition, I'm probably NOT a feminist in north america (though there are particular things I'd like to see improved for both men and women). I AM a feminists if you drop me into saudi arabia or afghanistan. Within those cultures, I don't simply think 'there are issues for boys and girls' though that's true, I would also hold the view that women IN PARTICULAR are being oppressed.

    There are many 'egalitarians' who are not 'feminists' because they don't agree that women are in a disadvantaged position overall in the west. Hence they are pro-equality, and maybe even pro certain ideas feminists would wish, but overall not 'feminists'.

  • Words vs actions, my dear.

    Sorry, but your claim is garbage.

  • There's a difference between feminism, and feminazism. I'm a feminist, and I'm a guy!

  • You obviously do not know what feminism and the history of feminism is about! its socialism! You know socialism? Like what the Nazi's did? Yes, it is a political agenda to brainwash the masses to act a certain way! Its indoctrination. Look at what feminism has done today! Women don't have roles as women any more! Most men cannot even approach women out of fear that what they say will be considered harassment! Do you want to know what feminism really is? Just take a glance at this picture and see the truth for what it is! kathyescobar.com/.../equality-vs-justice.jpg

    • Oh yeah, and another point, your rights are inalienable! They come from God and are not determined by man! Nobody can take your rights away from you. You only lose rights by handing them over. You want equal pay to a man? Get a job that offers you the same amount of pay! It is that simple! Stop concerning yourself with a socialist agenda to turn this world upside down! No matter what they preach, as we have seen with the Nazi regime, its all lies! All of it!

  • Feminism is the female side of egalitarianism. I agree.

  • Well you're right in that feminism isn't about female supramacy with an agenda to wipe men off the face of the earth. From what I've seen, feminists are men IDOLIZERS. They see males, male roles, and appearances as the epitome of everything they strive to be. From no shaving of their pits and legs, to the boardroom to the bedroom. This is why they look down on women and female roles like mothering and home making.

  • The biggest problem with feminism is that it makes men out to be the enemy, victimizes women and depicts men as aggressors working conspiratorially to uphold some oppressive patriarchal structure, when what we actually face are archaic social constructs (upheld equally by both genders) which are no longer suitable. Feminism also tends to only focus on the aggressions of a minority of men and only on misogynist behaviors. Mistreatment of men and general misandry are largely ignored by feminism, and anyone who claims that men might in some way be slightly disadvantaged by the same archaic social constructs which feminism purports to stand against (especially now that women's position in society has long since changed but there still hasn't been a balancing effect for men), or that men may also have rights that aren't necessarily respected and are sometimes victims, is shamed and excluded by the very feminists who claim to want equality. what they really want, according to their actions, is a matriarchy in which women hold all the power, but unlike the archaic patriarchy, they have no intention of supporting the men they've displaced. this comes of as being against men in general, hence the common belief that feminists are actually man haters. You're free to call me a sissy boy or a man child now if you feel that will make my opinion irrelevant. (I hope you'll forgive me if I'm somewhat biased due to previous conversations with self proclaimed feminists as well as general social observations and being on my own side, being a guy and all).

    • Edit (since I can't edit): "Feminism also tends to only focus on the aggressions of a minority of men and only on misogynist behaviors" > "Feminism also tends to only focus on the aggressions of a minority of men, applying these to all men, and only ever focuses on misogynist behaviors"

    • and it's unreasonable to say that I should make feminism about men. If feminism claims to want gender equality, then it must also be willing to face gender related problems that men face, and must include men in the conversation about gender equality, even if they actually care about the well being of their own gender. Feminism currently seems to be of, by and for women, excluding men except for those traitors who only see the woman's perspective and are willing to overlook grievances against their own gender.

    • that I *Shouldn't*, make feminism about men, that is.

  • I agree. You should take a look at my take series on feminists and MRAs.

    One way I think feminism shoots itself in the foot is "keeping" their extremists. For instance, there could be a book called "the superior vagina", and it would be standard reading in gender studies courses. I remember in High School, history classes and health courses that mentioned feminism also mentioned Valerie Solanas, who wrote the SCUM manifesto and tried to assassinate Andy Warhol, as an admirable feminist, rather than an extremist.

  • You may SAY this but ACTIONS speak louder then words. The wage gap is a myth. Either way women are the ones who spend 80% of disposable income, guys barely even spend that cash on themselves but use it to treat their women. And to your point of being hired for leadership positions men are more competitive by nature and usually are busting their ass cause they have so much more to lose as they have a wife and kids at home to support so working their way up to get more money is much more necessary. Whereas the women either just has herself to support or has a man to help support her so theirs no need to break her neck for the job, its very rare to hear of a women supporting a husband and kids her whole life, it does happen but its super rare.

    • Dude, that's not entirely what's going on these days... Have you ever heard of a term "single mother?" do you have any idea how many are there in the world? This is the 21st century, and the standart "man supports family, and woman looks after the house" is no longer valid... There still are cases like that, yes, but there are many different situations, so I don't believe it's fair that men get bigger pay, just for the sake of a stereotype...

    • That's true 97, but it's still extremely rare for any woman to consider EVER supporting a man. And single mothers can draw child support and alimony, and almost always have exclusive rights to the kids and the house (which was usually his, but the unequal and inferior female is absolutely unable to support herself without the sole right to HIS assets. divorce laws don't support the feminism ideals of gender equality in the slightest).

  • Feminism achieved its goals years ago--so the fact that it is still around means something else is going on.

  • Thing is with Feminism, it makes women feel great, but (most) men like utter shite. Equality? euh, my fucking dead aunt.

    If it was truly about women and men working together for a better society, then not so many men would be against it. It's Egalitarianism, or it's nothing.

  • The definition and the movement are two very different things. "Equal pay for equal work (If we’re doing the same work, why should men get paid more?)" like Emma watson you don't know what you are talking about, men and women get payed the same for the same work, it is literally a legal statute in almost all countries, for example it has been federal law in America since 1963, a legal statute in Australia since 1958, and i have lived in a lot of African countries and they exist in all of them. Only a select few countries in Asia don't have equal pay for equal work. The "wage gap" is calculated on a gross amount per sector, not for the same work, if they could hire women to do the same job as a man but pay her less, why wouldn't they just hire women and save money. This is why people hate feminism, it spreads bullshit propaganda.

  • Feminism is the advancement of womens' rights.

    Nothing more, nothing less. Pretending it's anything else is disingenuous.

  • Feminism cares about women alone. That's not hating men, just ignoring their issues and needs and when they are discriminated against. If this continues it will be so unbalanced that we will probably find masculism movements popping up where men have to desperately defend their rights because they have been eroding away and gone ignored for so long.

    I would prefer that we would defend the rights of all humans, not just women. That's also why I'm an egalitarian.

  • That's what FIRST wave feminsim is. The next two waves don't care too much about equality, in fact, they're all about differences.

  • I'll keep it simple, why can't women be women and men be men? Why would you use a quote from a clueless celebrity such as Emma Watson, at least quote a credible source.

    • Oh but she has a degree! She's doing her best to make her way in a man's world! That she's smoking hot is irrelevant, right? :p

    • Emma Watson is not 'smoking hot', she's overrated in terms of looks. Also her voice is rather croaky and hoarse - and this is coming from a fellow Brit.

      Her work on equal rights is good and a real step forward in society, but I just find that she is the wrong person to martial the change.

  • sure, everything should be equal across the board. but it sucks for both sides when women are given easier tasks because you're treated weaker. I took a test for a job and women had to do about 15-20% less physical work to get the job for the same pay. (that could be dangerous on the field if they can't do as well as men). stuff like that throws off the equality

    • Because there are physical traits that nothing can change... Mans' muscular system is more advanced, than a womans'... A woman can still do physical work, but it wouldn't be quite possible for her to be able to lift the same amount of weight most men can.. Unless she was a body-builder of somesort... And not even then

    • Which is completely understandable but goes directly against equal pay equal work and that ends up hurting feminists and could actually endanger lives in that kind of scenario. it doesn't do any favors for women to baby you

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geQyrBGS_60 This pretty much sums up my views..

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What Girls Said 7

  • I am feminist and I 100% agree with this. I don't hate men, it's all just about being equal with men, not above them.

  • I agree with you but I would just like to put one more thing in there.
    Men also have big problems now a days that need to be more open and understood.

    Discrimination in child custody cases, unrealistic body standards (as well as girls), discrimination against male victims of domestic violence and men keeping quiet about sexual assault that happened to them because in a way it's "unrealistic","embarrassing" or "not manly".
    im a proud feminist and I want to make the world better for both men and women.

    *Equal treatment

    *Equal pay

    Just equal.

    • Yup, like when Shia LaBeouf said he was raped and people didn't take him seriously. That's the kind of thing that needs to stop.

    • Definitely, I could never imagine that feeling.


  • A feminist is a person who believes in the social, political and economical equality of the sexes. People who assume we hate men can stick their opinions where the sun doesn't shine because they're talking out of their backside.

    • No, the movement was created to elevate women. That's why it's called feminism. It has grown to mean something more according to feminists though however.

    • It used to be just for women but now it caters everyone. I also find it hilarious how it's mainly men who have disliked my opinion. Clearly they don't want gender equality. They have it all anyway.

  • There is NO misconceptions about feminism.
    Stating that is isn't about man-hating, does not prove that is isn't all about man hating. The ACTIONS of feminist groups prove what it is all about... and that is anti-male agenda.

    Equality for men and women would mean that they believe in giving up female benefits to become equal with men too. Not just taking away benefits men have.
    There would be feminist fighting for the issues of men equally with the issues of women, not just asking men to fight along with women for the issues of women. (Emma Watson / HE for SHE)
    We wouldn't have Men's issues picketed, and marginalized by feminist... Ex: University of Toronto - Speaker for issue of Boys in school.

    The WAGE GAP is one of the most annoying myths and is so easily shows as false... These misinformation's are another common negative for your movement. Fighting for things that aren't valid, trivializes real issues.

    "Man-Hating: I feel I have to repeat this" If feminist do NOT want their ideology associated with man hate, they should be working to STOP the actions of those who prove that it is about man hate. Instead of studying, glorifying, and idolizing those "icons" of feminism. Solanas, Dworkins... etc.
    Feminist NEVER stifle those "rouge" feminist who spew anti-male garbage. I would NEVER be a part of a group that allowed such crap to be done in name of the group.

    I would love for someone to clear up the misconceptions, but unfortunately, just saying that they aren't real, does NOT make them untrue. The ACTIONS need to change in order for it to be true.

    "If you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it." - EW
    Well Emma, we don't give a crap about the word, we care about the idea and the ambition behind it, which unfortunately isn't positive.

    • thank you. this was a poorly written take. Your response went in to detail and you substantiated it. instead of just making a baseless claim which isjanette did basically

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    • Your OpInion, @AllAboutTheX, has more substance than the whole Take. You raised some very intellectual points and deserve the praise you get.

    • Very well written. It's cool when people stand up for the truth.

      “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” - Galileo Galilei

      "If you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it."

      I'd take it a step further and say that words don't typically mean just one thing. They usually have more than one definition. ESPECIALLY Feminism. It's original (and mostly current) function was (is) a focus ONLY on women's rights not what it claims now... 'equality of the sexes'.

  • I guess it's the way some feminists want it that seems to be troubling to some people. And also because of some (some, not all) stuck up, pigs of men who believe that just because men are physically stronger, they should rule the world and that women are to be their maids. :/

  • Here's a lovely video... =)