Do You Need Feminism?

Yes.

Seriously, is this a thing? Why is this a thing right now?

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Sigh…. all right.

This is one of those rare times in life when I will say that words truly matter. Moreover, the understanding of words and the impact they carry truly matters. Recently, the internet has been alive with the new viral slogan: “I don’t need feminism…” You can see one of its supporters above. In the face of it, this is a perplexing image. That woman does not look stupid. She has at least mastered writing… and wearing a shirt.

What the f*ck then?

In looking at these pictures and touring the websites, I have made a discovery: there are a lot of people out there who don’t know the actual definition of feminism. So, real quick – here it is:

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending a state of equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.”

Google the definition of feminism and that’s what you get. Also, have the Merriam-Webster definition for good measure. So really, what is the issue? According to definition, feminism sounds pretty reasonable to me – and I’m a guy. I gain nothing from sharing my power and rights with women but – I believe women are people (crazy) – so this really is a non-issue. Except it is an issue apparently, though not with “feminism” as it is defined above. Let’s look at a few more beacons of human hope:

Okay, but based on the definition of feminism - this doesn't make sense.
Okay, but based on the definition of feminism – this doesn’t make sense.
Again, nowhere in the definition does it say women are at a disadvantage.
Again, nowhere in the definition does it say that being a woman is a disadvantage.
Well this just... wait, what's that in the corner?
Well this just… wait, what’s that in the corner?

I think I have found the problem. Not only do people not know what “feminism” means, they are supporting a false definition. In the lower right corner, it reads “radical feminism sucks” – just in case you were wondering. “Radical” by definition means extreme and extreme ideologies, by tradition, tend to suck. Are there radical feminists out there who have demonized men as “villains” in an extreme distortion of basic views. Yes, idiots exist (I have pictures of four of them above). That said, those people are not the definition of feminism. They are not even really part of the movement.

Let’s use another definition to make an example: let’s use Christianity. Christianity is the belief in Jesus as Jesus Christ, the son of god and savior to mankind. Ever read the Bible? Jesus seems to be a very tolerant and open guy whose only real problem is the hoarding of wealth and the mistreatment of the poor (boy, he would love America right now). That said, there are radical Christians who believe that Jesus hates gays, immigrants, women, etc. etc. insert minority group here. Hating feminism because of radical feminists is like hating Christianity because of radical Christians.

Actually, it’s probably worse since there exists serious inequality out there between men and women. To anyone who doesn’t believe that: open your eyes. Watch the news.

So, the definition of feminism is becoming distorted and that is a shame. We need to take control of this word back. If the definition loses its meaning, this is a setback for human rights. Feminism is not an invalid movement. Human rights are not something you don’t need because a small number may abuse them.

Yet websites like this one keep existing.

I have written before on the dangers of willful ignorance: the belief that you and you alone hold the answers and any “facts” that say otherwise are either coming from a biased or erroneous source. When people are willfully ignorant, they ignore their own bias, they ignore their ability to be wrong. It must be wonderful to be right all the time, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a human trait.

Everyone knows that pretty quotes are the most true.
Everyone knows that pretty quotes are the most true.

Women Against Feminism is run by women. Emily Shire, a sane individual judging from her writing, tried to reach out and understand this group more thoroughly. Please find her article here.

Will this movement die? Very likely. It is fundamentally idiotic. When even Urban Dictionary can give this as a definition, there is little hope that these extremists will derail the feminist movement. Personally, I don’t need people who say they don’t need feminism. I would only ask that they read the dictionary.

When you don't know what a word means, you risk looking like an idiot (by the way, this photo was taken for solely ironic purposes).
When you don’t know what a word means, you risk looking like an idiot (by the way, this photo was taken for solely ironic purposes).