“Equality has been achieved! Why do we even need feminism?”
This is the number one myth about gender equality. Yes, we are equal — on paper. Most people agree that we should have the same rights, but do we? Who is scared to walk alone in the streets at night? Who is shamed when having a promiscuous sexual behavior, and who is praised for it? Who have more chances to get raped, or abused, or hit by their partner? Who is on the bottom of the pay gap, who is on top? How many female inventors, or scientists, or writers did you hear about in your History class? Who spends more time doing home chores in the families you know? You can look at facts, of course (1/3 of the women in the world experience physical or sexual violence, 38% of all the murdered women are killed by their partners), but you can also look around you. Despite having walked a long way, equality is still far from being achieved.
“But men suffer too! Don’t you care about that?”
Would supporting an association that helps fight cancer make one a supporter of hepatitis? I choose to fight for women’s rights because it is one of the oldest, deadliest, and most urgent issues worldwide, and this doesn’t mean that I don’t see that there are struggles that affect men, but most of men’s problems are actually caused by or linked to the patriarchy. Suicide rates in men are strongly linked to the pressure they get to never show emotions or ask for help. Abused men are afraid to speak up because they feel they will be ridiculed. These issues are deeply-rooted in the gender roles we are taught since we are kids. So, if you care about men’s problems, here is your solution — become a feminist!
“If it’s about equality, why is it called feminism?”
This one is actually quite simple: It’s called feminism because it focuses on the fact that there is a lack of equality to the detriment of women. It tells you who you must help and empower in order to achieve gender equality. “Humanism” or “Equalism” or any other similar word are not specific towards the root of the inequality.
“Aren’t feminists just a bunch of angry women who can’t get laid?”
Back in the early 20th century, when suffragettes in the UK and the USA were finally close to achieving the right to vote, many of anti-feminist posters were created to mock and discredit their fight, in the same exact way as it’s done nowadays. Suffragettes were pictured as man-hating, bitter women who had never been loved. They were accused of using their demand to vote as a vendetta against men, or worse, as a way to control or dominate them. As they say, “a thief believes everybody steals”.
“What have feminists achieved in the past few years?”
“Third wave feminists” have been accused of not doing any good to women — or men. But there have been many achievements, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. Another example could be when, in 2013, the Government of Spain tried to change the abortion law to take away women’s freedom to choose, so feminists all over the country organized and stopped it. Not to mention the massive educational work the intersectional feminist movements across the world are doing. Thanks to them, articles like this one give you the chance to read, question, and learn about the world around you — and, most importantly, to change it.