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‘Feminism’ carries wrong connotations

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In recent years, one of the bigger social equality movements has been feminism. This movement is beneficial not just for women and girls in privileged countries, but, even more importantly, also for women and girls in lesser developed countries.

Contrary to what a large portion of our society believes, feminists aren’t a bunch of griping women hating on men; feminists are people who simply believe that men and women are equal. Feminists challenge the patriarchies that have been present in the world for so long.

According to a study by Vox, 85% of Americans agree that men and women should be equal, yet only 18% of Americans identify as feminist. This astonishing difference is due to the fact that society associates an extreme negative connotation to the word “feminist.”

It often seems as though the average person, upon hearing the word “feminist,” rolls their eyes and tries to make a quick detour around the topic or away from the interaction altogether. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still great that our society is headed in the right direction in that the large majority of American are on board with the principles behind feminism.

It’s not necessarily that everyone has to call themselves feminists in order to truly support the cause, but people should definitely not shudder when they hear the word. It’s completely hypocritical of people who support the ideas behind feminism but then scoff at the idea of being called a feminist.

However, it’s sort of difficult to blame people for feeling this way because it’s just the way that society, as a whole, feels about the word feminism. People should think more about what the word feminism truly means: it’s about the fight for equal rights for women across the world.

Maybe if people became more accepting of the word, people who are indifferent towards, or even against the ideals of feminism, would be more willing to embrace the movement. It’s extremely frustrating that people are so willing to dismiss a word from their vocabulary without exploring its true meaning and simply making assumptions based upon how others view that particular word.

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The student news site of John Hersey High School
‘Feminism’ carries wrong connotations