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


Most Helpful Guy

  • I disagree.

    1. It's not about equality between men and women (I'll explain why)

    2. Women may want the same rights and privileges that men have yet don't want to do with the negatives of being a man in society.

    3. Equal pay for equal work?

    It's not that simple. How do you know that the man doesn't have more experience, more education and is a lot more qualified to do the job? Studies have shown that men do possess these qualities and that men are more determined to get promoted and move up in the company more so than women who take a more holistic approach to their career.

    When public spaces are cordoned off at certain times specifically for women (public gyms) while both men and women pay the same amount. I never hear a word from feminists.

    When men constantly lose custody of their child in court and. are forced to pay child support and are treated as walking wallets. I never hear a word from feminists.

    When. men's rights groups make. legitimate claims and are unable to hold meetings because feminists are protesting and are physically attacking speakers and attendees. I never hear a word from moderate feminists.

    That's my take on feminism. Although I'm sure there is more.

    • Feminism began as a movement attempting to equalize the huge societal and economic gap between men and women. I'm sure you wouldn't deny the struggle women had in the past, so yes, that is what feminism was originally about. Some of these issues still exist in more subtle matters in America unless you go abroad to countries where women are still oppressed, where feminism is extremely necessary.

      Can you expand on the "negatives" of being a man? There's no doubt that there are indeed negatives and like every movement, hypocrisies. And it does suck. But last time I checked, women have to deal with more, regardless of what culture you're apart of. I know for a fact that in my culture, women are constantly exchanged to men like meat... they have to fight for their education, their careers... sometimes they have to give it all up because no man wants a working woman. Once you leave America's protective shell, you'll realize how necessary feminism is.

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    • women in post secondary studies than there are men. For every 100 students, 55 of them are women.

      Do you honestly think that society is only bad towards women? It goes both ways.

      I think feminism has better ground to stand on in the middle east and Africa, but in terms of western democracies. Its run its course, and in Scandinavian countries I wouldn't be surprised if they do something like ban men there. You need to seriously read the laws they've implemented to 'help' women there. lol

    • You can say all you want but facts become less substabtial when emotion runs high. Feminism was the need of the hour during the hippie period. Now it is well balanced. Just because there are dick heads doesn't make sexism some controlled mechanism. I am from india. I see a lot stuff happening against women and i support their cause. What i have seen in USA is just unbelievable! Who chooses freedom of speech? The victim card thrown on every damn time. Millions of women are successful in their career. We cannot swap gender roles. Lets see what we are good at and help in that way. Men are likely at the end every bad thing happened. Mens right activists are laughed at by feminists. Look at UK for examples.

      I love women who can separate bullshit and reality. Women in my family dont bitch about stupid things and blamenon men. They work to their skills. I can go on and on in a more point wise manner, but you get the point.

Most Helpful Girl

  • 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'.

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What Guys Said 41

  • My doctors told my wife my medical information when she asked what she could do to help me and make sure I was fine when I went to the doctor for a checkup and found out I had a issue. I'm fine with that because she is my wife. When I went with her to a clinic for birth control they acted as if I wasn't even there and wouldn't tell me anything. Not even the price which I was paying. They told her how much and then I paid. Just to show them how I felt about that I asked her right there in front of them and she told me what they had told her. The woman behind the counter looked upset and that made me happy because the way they treated me. So from personal experience feminism is only about advancing the rights of women and has nothing to do with making things equal between the genders. Also, as you may have noted I posted under my name.

  • 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.

  • If you want equality don't call yourself a feminist. Feminism embraces and endorses people like Andrea Dworkin, promote's works such as the SCUM Manifesto, and prominent female feminist individuals in high standing in business and politics have gone on record promoting man hating, express deep content towards men, or conflate female power with ones ability to harm men. Want don't you just google something along the lines of 'absurd feminist quotes' and look up each person who says just who they are.

    Feminism, as it was, a social movement to promote women's rights is hard to find faults with. As a political science, such as patriarchy theory, is abhorrently disgusting that promotes hate. If you want equality between the sexes there's a word for that; its called egalitarian. It doesn't come with the baggage of feminism.

    Any movement that suggests the personal is political as a foundational philosophy encourages radicalization within its members. As a man who cares for his well being I'd be stupid to agree with "feminism" since the name itself suggest interest in women before men. No matter how they define themselves. So don't bring this up as a discussion point and get all offended when someone tells you to fuck off (maybe not in so many words.)

    PS if you believe you have a strong rebuttal to this half hartted, half thought out argument then feel free to respond. I encourage you. But make it good or I'll just troll you.

  • so when was the last time, a feminist fought for male rights to have a say in abortions or male rights to claim alimony from a female after he was left by her or females to pay for dates, if it´s all about equality? :D i mostly agree with your take though. so don´t take my comment as a raging feminist hater ^^ this is just what came to my mind.

  • "Equal pay for equal work (If we’re doing the same work, why should men get paid more?)"

    The wage gap is due to the fact that women go for lower paying jobs. Even the U. S. Department of Labour knows this, which is why they concluded that the 23-cent wage gap "may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers."


    This is part of the problem I have with feminists sometimes. They overreach.

  • 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.

  • Dont wanna kick the bee hive too much but if these feminists who genuinley wish to have eaquilness and everything with fair share of both benifits and work then why dont they claim to be Egalitarians instead of feminists?

    Simply curious is all : )


  • I didn't even read that crap.
    Feminism is all about hating men.
    Don't deny it.

  • 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.

  • 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'.

  • Who cares about Emma Watson?

    I support 'women empowerment' not feminism.

    If you want to raise your voice believe in egalitarian not femenism.

  • 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).

  • 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.

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

  • This is a touchy subject XD True feminism is for equality amongst all genders, period. However, the current feminist movement is rife with women who absolutely despise men; to the point of being terrifying and insane!

    It's like religion: it's supposed to be about peace and love and tolerance, but then you get shit like the crusades, the inquisition, and 9/11.

    If you really want to gain momentum for equality, I'd start by removing the pathogens inside of Feminism first. Open disgust and ridicule works great: look at "Frown Power"!

    • A touchy subject that needs to be talked about. Even if some people don't like/disagree with it.

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    • @Paradoxical_Pro makes sense to me xD I pretty much agree with you again. Very well articulated!

    • @ComDom

      Heh, thanks! I'm pretty sure I had an even more elegant phrasing for that at one point, but meh; plus this site gives me issues when typing =P

  • You may want equality and this may be your idea of feminism but many people out there have a much different idea of "feminism." You can't deny that there are those out there who are bitter at men so they attack men under the guise of "feminism." Just the same way there are forever alone bitter males out there that attack women.

  • Prove it!!

  • 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.

  • People like you are what's wrong with the world today and why divorce rates are so high.

    • Your comment literally made me laugh out loud.

    • @jannette723 Why would it make you laugh out loud? It's true that many feminists say and do things in contrast to what is scientifically valid and you associate yourself with that group. So in my book you have two options, either you distinguish yourself from those that are radical or you will probably be clumped up alongside them.

  • Actually, what you stand for isn't what feminism is anymore. www.girlsaskguys.com/.../a8277-what-i-learned-as-a-feminist-an-mra-part-1

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What Girls Said 6

  • 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.

  • Here's a lovely video... =)

  • 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. :/

  • 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.

  • 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.