What is Feminism? And Why Does it Still Matter Today?

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Written By : Monique Lapointe ~

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘women have equality now, you don’t need feminism’ while trying to tell a man about how difficult life can be as woman? 

We certainly have. A lot of people have the wrong definition when it comes to the word ‘feminism’ – especially online. A simple google search will tell you that feminism is: The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes.

To simplify, feminism is about believing and fighting for men and women to have equal rights. It does NOT mean that feminists want to be superior or live under a matriarchy. All it means is that we want to be considered equal. Easy, right? *cries in sexism*. 

 THERE’S NO “FEMINIST RULEBOOK”

 When talking to one of my fellow guy friends about feminism (he was interested in learning more about the subject to which I was happy to hear) he said something to me that really grabbed my attention. 

“I always thought feminists were all about being better than men. I also thought it meant that you were against all of the things that society believes women should do,” he said. 

It got me thinking – where is this mythical feminist handbook of rules that I have never read? Do I need a copy?.

The truth is, every feminist has their own values. Some will believe that wearing less clothes empowers them, while others will feel that covering up their hair gives them the same strength. But overall, I think any true feminist will tell you that yes, we don’t want to be told by society what we should and shouldn’t do. However, we also don’t want to be grouped and shamed by what I like to call a wrongly defined feminist on what we are doing. 

THINGS THAT DON’T MAKE YOU LESS OF A FEMINIST :

  • SHAVING
  • WEARING HIGH HEELS
  • ALLOWING A MAN TO OPEN THE DOOR FOR YOU 
  • WEARING DRESSES
  • BEING IN A LOVING RELATIONSHIP
  • BEING SUBMISSIVE
  • WEARING MAKEUP
  • BEING A STAY AT HOME MOM 

THINGS THAT DO MAKE YOU LESS OF A FEMINIST : 

  • SHAMING WOMEN THAT DO ANY OF THESE THINGS

As mentioned, the internet is creating a meme version of the feminist image. If you ask a random person on the street what a feminist looks like or believes in, they well either say a hairy hippy or a female lawyer in a two piece suit. 

We are forgetting about all the other feminists in the world. The mothers pushing prams, the barista making your coffee and even the pornstar on the shady part of your laptop. Feminists are everywhere. Just because I like wearing mascara and work in fashion doesn’t mean I’m less of a feminist. I still believe in equal rights. It just means I am choosing to do what I want & what makes me happy. 

Feminism is still needed – and while the definition won’t change over time, our focuses may change as we face different pushbacks. The moral of the story – educate yourself on feminism, and stay #woke. 

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