So why do people treat it like one?

I have spent almost 3 years trying to convince my boyfriend he’s a feminist. He is so reluctant to embrace it because he thinks there’s something shameful or embarrassing about saying you’re a feminist. He says that while he believes in woman’s rights and gender equality, the term has been diluted with many other issues and connotations.

My boyfriend, I can work on. I’m sure after a 365 day intervention strategy, he’ll eventually come round to the idea and embrace the concept more wholeheartedly than he does now, however there is a lot of people that will also be in the same boat. I unfortunately don’t have 365 days for those sat on the fence, or who are sat no where near the fence.

There are many people, and scarily, women, disowning the term because they’ve got a few things mixed up or confused with what feminism actually is.

First of all, a few things people need to know about feminism:

1) The definition: feminism /ˈfɛmɪnɪz(ə)m/
noun
the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes
synonyms: the women’s movement, the feminist movement, women’s liberation, female emancipation
Lauren’s simplified definition:
The belief that men and women should be treated as equals.

2) What feminism is not:
– A man hating body of women
– Claiming or campaigning that women are better than men
– Lots of lesbians
– ‘Bitches’ and ‘Dykes’
– About a dresscode
– A phase because we’re on our period
– Just for women
– Something that only helps women
– A rulebook to follow
– Something to be ashamed of

3) Feminism is:
– For everyone
– About justice
– About human rights
– About individual rights
– Something to be proud of

Please, before you disown yourself from ‘feminism’, think about what you are saying. Do you believe men and women should be treated as equals? If the answer yes, then you’re a feminist.

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favourite books that sums up exactly what I’m trying to say:

“We need to reclaim the word ‘feminism’. We need the word ‘feminism’ back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist – and only 42% of British women – I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?” fem2― Caitlin MoranHow to Be a Woman