Why Your Comments On Feminism Are Breaking My Heart

I want to talk to y’all. Lady to lady. Friend to friend. You are breaking my heart over here with some of your comments about feminism. For the record, there are a ton of you who have really awesome and positive things to say about feminism. I’m talking about mainly anything that starts with “I’m not a feminist, but…”

It seems like there’s a stigma with us Gurl girls that we’re these super-extreme feminists who hate men and think women can’t wear makeup or cute outfits. That is so not the case! We love the male species! We think makeup is great! We love cute outfits!

We absolutely love hearing your opinions and what you have to say. That’s part of why the Gurl community is so special! I personally want you to feel like you can come to us and have great discussions.

But comments are coming in that a lot of you don’t want to identify yourself as feminist because you think it has a bad connotation. I agree that in the past feminism had a bad reputation. But being a feminist is not a bad thing, and it hurts me to the depths of my soul that some of you feel that way!

Feminism is by definition “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

Do you think humans should be equal? Then you are a feminist.

I wrote an article years ago about feminism, and I said “I’m not a feminist, but…” I don’t regret much in my life, but I regret uttering those words. I couldn’t have been more wrong about my own views on feminism, not to mention the idea in general.

For a long time, I didn’t understand feminism. I thought being a feminist meant I had to hate all men and that I couldn’t be cute or let a guy pay for dinner. And that simply is not true. Are there feminists that hate men and don’t want to wear makeup and won’t let guys do anything for them? Yes. But that is not the majority.

The reason I write about things like sexist magazine spreads and how offensive it is when a male professor degrades women in class is because these are important issues. It’s because feminism isn’t “done” yet. I don’t think I realized how sexist the world can be until I was getting harassed every day on the street. Or until a guy I was seeing was legitimately upset that an all-girl team beat his team in bowling. Or until I saw how many girls say they aren’t feminists.

The reason I talk about feminism is to have these kinds of conversations. I went for too long without truly understanding what feminism was, and I want you to understand it. I want you to be strong and be able to stand up for yourself when you are not treated equally. Like if you’re mistreated by a professor because you refused his advances. Or if you have a boss who thinks you’re his secretary on top of your job just because you’re a woman. Or if your boyfriend tells you to get back in the kitchen where you belong.

While some of your comments are breaking my heart, I do want to thank you because it made me think (the other Gurl staffers can attest that I’ve been talking about this forever) about my own views on feminism and how we can create a better understanding of it.
Do you think that being a feminist is a bad thing? Do you think feminism means you have to be on the extreme side of it? Are you a feminist? Tell us in the comments!

You can still be a feminist even if you say “bitch”

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  • Marie

    I don’t believe men and women should be equal. I believe men and women ARE equal. You’re getting harassed on the streets? I’m sorry, I truly am. But that’s just an arrogant ahole who had always existed and will always exist. Men can’t compliment a female stranger without the woman screaming at him for being a pervert. It goes both ways, and neither are issues of feminism. They are just people being people to other people. The world isn’t always a beautiful place.

    Racism was once a huge and heartbreaking issue. But it’s not anymore. We have a black president, for God’s sake, and other than being a ‘first’ for America it doesn’t affect anything at all. Racism is no longer an issue.

    A hundred years ago feminism was a huge issue. We can vote now, though. We can get all the jobs men can. We’re not thought by society I belong in the kitchen, popping out babies. I’m pretty sure any guy who tells a woman to get back to the kitchen is joking, although in many circumstances it’s a rather tasteless joke.

    There are so many more important causes. GMOs, anyone? Kids starving in India? Kids starving in Asia? Kids starvin in Africa? Kids starving in South America? Kids starving in Europe? Kids starving in the US? The environment? The general unhealthy of America? The lack of Doctor Who fans? Animal cruelty?

    If you’re going to focus so much on feminism, try helping girls in third world countries who can’t get an education. We can get educations here. Knowledge is power, so empower those who need it.

    • awkwardGal22

      Racism is still an issue, as an African American, I’ve been discriminated and it’s 2014. Yes we can vote now and yes we can get the same jobs as men. However, a women in the same position as a male co-worker, who has NOT gone on maternity leave, they both get the same vacation time, etc can STILL GET PAID LESS. An individual who identifies themselves as a feminist probably supports at least one or more of all the above important causes. Those who are VERY VERY VERY active in supporting feminism are in third world countries. We are doing this things just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there; in some cases it’s in plain sight, but you may choose to ignore it 🙁

  • Jake

    Unfortunately extremists are the ones most often identified with a certain group (Islam, Feminism, etc). Feminism has a really hard reputation to drop of being hostile, advancement of female rights at the cost of putting men down, and not equality for women but social dominance over men. It’s also hard being a white male to truly understand a woman’s point of view on stances such as this because I haven’t been discriminated against for anything, really.

  • Janice

    I firmly believe that the term “feminism” is often misunderstood and this can lead to some awkward situations. Whether you want to call it feminism or not, equality is what we all are looking for and that’s what really matters.
    However, I’d like to point out that I’ve previously read some articles on Gurl that I’ve found quite extremist. But that’s my opinion and that’s totally fine. Every person has the right to express their own opinion and we all should respect them. These are opinions and not facts, after all.
    Anyway, I’d like to thank Gurl for this amazing website that promotes gender equality and respect for everyone.

  • LittleRedWolfGirl

    THANK you for this! I have a friend on Facebook who said she wasn’t a feminist and didn’t want to identify as one, but then said her views on gender equality and it turns out, she’s a feminist after all. What a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s your beliefs, attitude, and views on gender equality that determine if you’re a feminist or not, not how you chose to identify. You don’t have to go on about being a feminist and make a whole bunch of public statements to be one. You don’t have to be an activist to be a feminist. If you believe in gender equality, then you are a feminist, even if you “don’t want to identify” as one, and that isn’t a bad thing! There’s nothing wrong with being feminist. It’s a good thing, and I wish girls and women everywhere could understand that.