Feminism: What It Really Means

02.09.11

Most of the time I don't think about it, but the conversations do come up all the time. You'll be enjoying a good discussion with a friend and somehow the conversation leads to the differences between men and women. It's always a very touchy subject since everyone has their own take on what strengths men have and what strengths women have. And since saying something the wrong way can easily offend someone who is not the same gender as you, most people twitch at the sound of the term Feminism.

I used to be very confused as to why anyone would be nervous to announce they are a feminist, but then I learned that most people get the wrong idea when I use the word. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing you picture an angry single woman, shouting out to anyone who comes within earshot what political rights she deserves and does not have yet. A woman who refuses to let anyone to help her accomplish physical tasks, believes she's wasting her life if she becomes a homemaker and mother, and hates any man who doesn't let her have complete control in a relationship.

Now if that's what a feminist is, I am not one. It's true there may be women out there who fit this image, but that doesn't make them a feminist, that makes them... a psychopath.

This is the true definition of feminism:
Feminism: the belief and advocacy that women should have the same rights as men.

What a relief, right? The girl writing this blog simply believes she should always have the same rights as the opposite gender. That's not creepy at all. I know that men and women are different. There are men who have twice or even three times my strength. I'm not a dork who claims to be able to lift 200 pounds over my head. It's not necessary for me to feel threatened by a man's physical strength since women have many strengths most men don't have. For example, women have nurturing qualities that are extremely vital to the emotional well being of a child. If I'm so lucky, I plan to stay at home and raise my own children someday and know it will be one of the most important jobs I'll ever have in this life.

Being a feminist means you are completely aware of your equality to everyone, male and female. That does not mean you are oblivious to the differences between men and women. However, it does mean you believe the different qualities that men and women possess have equal worth. Women have qualities that men do not have, and a feminist recognizes and celebrates those strengths.

Being a feminist means you are confident and self reliant. It does not mean you refuse help when it comes. It means when no help is available, you manage fine on your own. You're happy on your own, but also love when new relationship opportunities come along.

I'm very proud to call myself a feminist, and I hope this blog helps you to feel a little more at ease the next time feminism comes up in a conversation.

Article written by Shelly Allen.
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TAGS: advocacy, angry, boy, chauvinist, children, control, conversation, definition, differences, dominant, equal, equality, female, feminism, feminist, gender, girl, homemaker, independant, independent, lds, love, male, man, meaning, men, mormon, mother, nurture, offense, physical, politics, qualities, relationships, roles, strengths, stronger, weaker, woman, women, worth

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