Feminism is being used as yet another way to prescribe behavior, standards, and a selection of morality for women. This isn’t what feminism is and to take a movement meant to empower women and make it another way to judge, degrade, and justify the lack of respect for women in our society is a travesty and undermines the validity of the movement itself.
Merriam-Webster defines feminism as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
Google defines feminism as the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
And my favorite definition, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie defines a feminist as a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
Take note that none of these definitions assign morality or a set of characteristics that a person must have to qualify as a feminist. These definitions outline a belief and, in some cases, an advocacy of that belief.
The image of a feminist woman as an angry, bitter, man-hating, bra-burning bitch or an uptight, conservative prude or a woman with loose morals who claims feminism so she can feel better about sucking many dicks (yes, I’ve actually heard that description), are stereotypes. I am sure there are feminists who fit each of these descriptions, that don’t doesn’t exclude every other type of feminist who matches the definition.
Women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, sexual orientation, and even men are feminists.
If you are discrediting someone as a feminist because of her lifestyle, appearance, sexual history or sexual preference, you are undoubtedly part of the problem. And if you claim to be a feminist, know that you are undermining your own movement — you are giving the world more reason to disrespect, discredit and not take women seriously.