Is “feminism” the new F-word? It seems like it, because it’s getting a bad rap.
The new Yahoo CEO (a huge, important, and high-paying job), Marissa Mayer, is a woman. Had she worked for Yahoo–or any other company–a few decades ago, she likely wouldn’t have risen as high in the ranks or earned as much money, because she’s a woman. Feminism earned her the equality and opportunities in the workplace that many women today still don’t have–and yet Marissa Mayer doesn’t consider herself a feminist, going as far as to say that “feminism” is a “negative word.” No, seriously.
When we heard that, we let out a huge “WTF?!” It seems enormously hypocritical that in a society where most women still earn less than men do for performing the same exact jobs that Marissa Mayer would deny the very movement that allowed her to earn her current position. Watch her here:
Marissa Mayer seems a little confused between “militant“ feminists and, well, the rest of us. The problem is, she’s lumping every single woman who supports equal rights into a sort of extremist group together. That’s sort of like saying everyone who practices Islam is a terrorist–which isn’t true, and is actually a dangerous statement that causes severe divisions and misunderstandings between people. Whether Marissa Mayer realizes it or not, denouncing feminism is actually, quite literally, promoting sexism.
How? Allow us to explain. Feminism doesn’t necessarily entail hating men, spelling women “womyn,” burning your bra, not shaving your pits, or really wanting Lilith Fair to start again. At its core, basic feminism is just wanting equal rights for both sexes. That means men and women. Without feminism, if you had an after school job at a cafe, it’d be perfectly fine and legal for your boss to pay the lazy guy who can’t make a good cappuccino twice as much as he pays you. Without feminism, you wouldn’t be able to vote, to go to school, or to work at all.
So our advice to Marissa Mayer? If you want to distance yourself from feminism, you should distance yourself from everything it’s gotten you thus far. It probably means taking a demotion or ten, a really big pay cut, not having the right or power to choose what you do with your own body, relinquishing your voter registration and driver’s license, handing over your diplomas, and succumbing to a “barefoot and pregnant in a kitchen” stereotype. If feminism really bothers you, Marissa Mayer, quit your job, shut up, and make a man a sandwich.
Do you think Marissa Mayer has a misconception of what feminism means? Do you think it’s good for women to distance themselves from feminism in the workplace? Do you think that Marissa Mayer is damaging women’s chances for equal rights by denouncing feminism? Tell us in the comments!