Why is the word “feminist” associated with so much negativity? The problem is that a lot of people do not really know what it means to be a feminist. Although in recent times, more and more people have come to realise what it truly means to be a feminist. People tend to associate feminism with misandry (a hatred of men). Being a feminist does not mean I hate men or that I am a lesbian who grows out my body hair and hates mini skirts, shopping, and makeup.
Being a feminist just means that I believe in equal rights. It means that I believe men and women performing the same job should get the same pay. It means that I believe in the demolishment of the double standards between males and females. From my experience, a lot of men hate the idea of feminism. They do not realise that there are so many ways feminism benefits men. Men are typically raised to not show emotions because it is seen as less “manly” as they are always being told to “man up”. They perceive sensitivity as weakness, to show any sign of weakness or insecurity. Now imagine a world where you are free to be yourself and not be seen as less of a man for showing vulnerability. In a world where both sexes are equal, there would be no shame in being a sensitive male and showing some emotion. When I discuss feminism with some on my non-feminist male friends, they always seem to think that being a feminist means I am against chivalry.
Chivalry is a code of conduct that originated in the medieval times where females were perceived as the inferior sex. They were recognised as the weaker sex, and in need of protection by the males. Times have changed and so has the meaning of chivalry. The line between chivalry and condescension is not quite clear to a lot of people. To be chivalrous means that you are polite and it goes both ways. For example, if I happen to have my hands full and a man rushes over to help me open the door, I would not be offended by his chivalry because I would do the same if the situation were reversed.
The problem arises when a man takes the tools from a lady to fix something broken around the house, for example, because he thinks she is too weak to do it herself. That denotes condescension and is frankly, insulting to a woman. Being a male feminist does not mean you stop being a decent human being. If you pay the bill on a date or get your date some flowers, that is perfectly okay if you are doing so out of kindness and not because you feel like she can not pay her own bills. I personally believe that whoever asked the other out should pick up the tab. In other words, if a man is a feminist it does not mean he automatically stops being a gentleman unless his need to be chivalrous arises from the belief that females are inferior to males.
Photo Source: Keyword Suggests