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8 Myths About Feminism Debunked

8 Myths About Feminism Debunked

Myths about feminism are everywhere. Feminism has been dismissed as all sorts of horrible things. The misconceptions perpetuated about the cause as a whole are sometimes so ridiculous that it’s hard comprehend how they came to be, let alone how so many people believe them to this day. So let’s debunk some of these myths about feminism and tell people what the movement is truly about.

1. Feminism is misandry (or, feminists hate men)

How about we start this with a definition, since it seems that most people are confused when it comes to the basic meaning of “feminism”:

Feminism (noun)—The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

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This myth isn’t even worth discussing, to be honest, because it would be a huge oxymoron if a feminist was a man-hater: someone who wants equality can’t hate the people with whom they want to be equal. True, you can’t deny the presence of a few extremist feminists who are misandrists. But we can’t a radical minority to create a reputation for the rest of the movement.

2. Feminists can’t be feminine

Feminism is essentially about giving women choice and autonomy over their bodies, not about limiting them. The feminist movement opposes the perpetuation of the idea that women must conform to the distorted concept of femininity that is considered socially acceptable. But they don’t oppose a woman’s choice to act or look however way they want.

3. Feminists are offended by gallantry

Contrary to popular beliefs, not all feminists will give you a lecture about systematic oppression when you open a door for them! This myth is often used to claim that feminists cannot differentiate between genuine politeness (or romantic endeavors) and pure sexism that is disguised as chivalry. I appreciate it when someone offers to open doors for me, or insists on driving me home, or offers to pay for dinner—as long as they’re doing it because they want to, not because they feel obliged to. At the same time, I should be allowed to return the favor if I want to!

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4. It’s the 21st century so there’s nothing left for feminists to fight for

We’ve come a long way when it comes to the fight for the equality of the sexes, but if you take one look at any popular media outlets, you will either see feminism being discussed under a false light, or the perpetuation of rape-culture. In other words, you’ll see rape, victim-blaming, child brides, sex trafficking, genital mutilation, honor killings, infanticide, domestic violence, forced prostitution and other crimes predominantly happening to women.

In addition to that, men are being targeted by these social outlets too, either by making them out to be rampant animals that cannot control their sex drive, or by spreading unrealistic and purely damaging expectations that affect their lives as well. Feminism aims to eliminate both in order to allow both men and women to live without objectification or oppression.

5. Feminists don’t believe in marriage

It’s hard to understand where this myth came from. Wanting to get married and start a family with somebody does not change your view on gender equality. Marriage and equality shouldn’t be opposed to one another.

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6. Feminism benefits women at the expense of men

Do I need to refer you back to the definition explained in the first myth? True feminism aims to liberate both men and women by breaking down the societal standards that harm both men and women. In our current patriarchal society, men are taught to be as emotionally disconnected as possible because that represents strength or leadership. These standards are not only unhealthy but socially and emotionally confining. Feminism is supportive, not exclusive.

7. Feminists are hysterical

Here are some words you often hear associated with feminism: “hysterical,” “crazy,” “feminazi.”

Those terms have been thrown at women throughout history in order to silence them. It only strengthens the patriarchal idea that whenever a woman complains or raises her voice, she’s not being proper and needs to shut up and sit back down. Everything women say is dismissed as overly emotional, exaggerated, or “hormonal.” But it’s not hysteria, it’s common sense.

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8. Feminism is only for middle-class white women

Feminism has always been a multicultural cause. However, I fully acknowledge the fact that women of color and white women may have different priorities when it comes to what needs to be addressed. We should accept this as part of the movement because today’s feminist activists are women and men of all backgrounds who seek to combat discrimination. If different social or ethnic groups are addressing the issues that concern them, then the movement as a whole will be both inclusive and effective.

Featured photo credit: Beyonce & Sophia: Feminism or Sexism? via chasegod.tv

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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