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Feminism Explained: The Difference between Misandry and Equal Rights

Sophomores+Julienne+Brizuela+and+Martin+Barrett+civilly+discuss+feminism+and+their+opinions+on+the+topic.+
Sophomores Julienne Brizuela and Martin Barrett civilly discuss feminism and their opinions on the topic.

Sophomores Julienne Brizuela and Martin Barrett civilly discuss feminism and their opinions on the topic.

Sophomores Julienne Brizuela and Martin Barrett civilly discuss feminism and their opinions on the topic.

Melina Carlos, Writer

In this day and age, everything is changing, cultures around the world are evolving and people’s beliefs are becoming more dynamic. One thing that has changed greatly throughout the years is the belief of gender equality, or as we like to call it now, the belief of “feminism.”
By definition, the word “feminism” means “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” This topic has been discussed in social media, classrooms, and households, usually debating on whether or not it is a legitimate issue.
Some of the little things people say today oppose feminism. Comments such as “you hit like a girl” “ladies first” and “be more ladylike” all touch on the common misconception that men have a higher standing on the social totem pole than women. This is definitely not the case, and many men and women today agree.
The topic of feminism has become so relevant that groups who promote it have started to pop up everywhere. Some popular groups are Feminist, NOW (National Organization for Women), and FEMEN.
Recently, two topless women of FEMEN stormed the stage of a Muslim conference in France shouting feminist slogans, forcing two imams to leave; however shortly after the shouting, the women were brought offstage by security.
FEMEN is known for their grandiose and questionable topless protests. According to FEMEN’s website, their objectives (among other things) are, “to ideology undermine the fundamental institutes of patriarchy – dictatorship, sex-industry, and church – by putting these institutes through subversive trolling to force them tragic surrender” and “by strength of courage and personal example, to initiate global women’s mob law over patriarchy as the historically first, and last, existing form of slavery.”
I consider myself a feminist, however I feel that going this far into trying to spread awareness is going overboard. When the issue regarding feminism is discussed, another way to express your perspective is to do it in a civil manner instead of causing a stir by yelling and angrily protesting.
While many anti or non-feminists think that feminists are crazy man-haters who run around naked and yelling, others understand that most are just regular people who believe in gender equality.
A common fallacy about feminism is that whenever women hear or see anything about the topic of equal rights between men and women, they lash out, yelling their opinion, or in the words of sophomore Julienne Brizuela, “go around saying ‘Hey! When I get a job I’m gonna get paid equal!’” This is not always the case.
Many modern feminists today are normal and civil people, not crazy feminist maniacs. I believe that the people that take things too far not only make the cause seem absurd, but unnecessary, overlooking the fact that women want equal rights.
In the words of Brizuela, “what people think that’s ‘too far’ is not feminism, but more ‘misandry.’” By definition, the word “misandry” means, “the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men” or in other words, “the hatred of men.”
Feminists today sometimes forget their cause, and become misanthropic towards men. People need to remember that, “people that are very involved in the issue of feminism should be able to prove that women can do the work of males but in a civil and peaceful way. It doesn’t have to be violent, you don’t have to be so controversial,” explains feminist and working mother Marylou Verder-Carlos.
According to Emily Swanson of Huffington Post, “only one-fifth of Americans identify as feminists, but the vast majority fit the basic definition of the word.” In a poll created by HuffPost/YouGov, a mere 20 percent of Americans – including 23 percent of women and 16 percent of men – consider themselves feminists. Eight percent consider themselves anti-feminists, whereas 63 percent consider themselves neither.
Swanson continues to write, “The gulf between the percentage of people who identify as feminists and the percentage who believe in the equality of the sexes may be partly due to a branding problem for the word ‘feminism.’”
Apparently, thirty-seven percent of Americans consider “feminist” to be a negative title, while only twenty-six percent view the term as positive. Among those who identified themselves as either feminists or strong feminists, though, 43 percent said they thought most women are feminists,” as reported by Swanson. These statistics make us come to the conclusion that few people identify themselves as feminists, but most believe in the equality of sexes. The non-feminists or anti-feminists are harder to understand, as their standings seem ill-advised and senseless.
Verder-Carlos explains what anti or non-feminists are cordially, saying, “There are still some men that believe that women should not be getting the same jobs as men.” This somewhat explains sophomore Martin Barrett’s thoughts, which are, “Feminism is women that overthink equality and think that everyone should be too equal,” and that feminism is “horrible.” He believes that, “Feminism clashes with the values we have in America,” and that, “there’s a certain place that a woman should be.” Barrett claims that feminists, “should just calm down because women are equal – kind of,” and that feminism, “takes it too far.”
I believe being a feminist is important if you want equal rights for both women and men. However violently protesting, disturbing and bashing religious observances, being explicitly vulgar when expressing your beliefs, and attacking the opposite gender in order to get a point across exaggerates and fails to accomplish what needs to be done for the cause. It is possible to demonstrate feminism without going overboard.
You may not be able to change others’ views on gender equality, but simple things, such as recognizing systemic inequalities, empowering women when they are brought down from these inequalities, and teaching others about feminism when it comes up are all ways to civilly express your beliefs.
In the words of Verder-Carlos, “Feminism is equal rights between men and women, equal opportunities for both men and women, and so it gives females equal standing with men.”

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About the Writer
Melina Carlos, Writer

Hi! My name is Melina and I’m a sophomore here at River City. This is my first year in Journalism, and I’m quite excited to start writing. If you know...

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