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Misconceptions everywhere by Mechanical-Koi Misconceptions everywhere by Mechanical-Koi
It gets frustrating constantly explaining to people why the stereotypes that they rely on to understand feminism are wrong.
You know when people are very opinionated based on stereotypes and misconceptions?
Like when people say things like atheists are all depressed and miserable, and hate themselves and life, etc.? And then you have to give the same exact explanation to different people with the same misconception over and over and over and over and over?
It gets old really fast.
Because it gets really tiring answering the same exact questions all the time (especially when people still won't believe you).

You may not know that you're the 50,000th person to ask the same question, but that doesn't mean that I haven't already answered it 50,000 times.

"Resist the belief that you know everything about the issue already. Feminism is an actual field of study. As with any field of study, it should be entered with an absence of preconceptions. If a woman has strong feelings about women’s issues, it doesn’t mean she spends all of her time sharpening her castration tools. Talk to women about what’s important to them. As you learn more, you’ll understand more, in the same way that a budding engineer might gradually grow to understand a complex blueprint. If your first instinct when you hear the word “feminist” is to say “those man-haters want equality, but they still want me to pay for everything, hurf durf!” then you currently have as accurate an understanding of feminism as a confectioner would have of a Titan II missile schematic. You know those congressmen who say that Grand Theft Auto IV is a “crime simulator” that is “training new felons?” That’s you, and feminism."

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This will be added to whenever I find new things to add :)
Feel free to leave ideas in the comments!

I know that there are many different “types” of feminism, and there will be disagreements between them. Some believe men cannot be feminists. Some do not hold favorable opinions of trans people. Some people have legitimate reasons for not identifying with feminism (historical transphobia, racism, etc) and that is entirely valid because it's not based in complete lies. I speak from the feminism that I have studied and believe in, but am trying to address blanket statements geared towards feminism in general.

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:bulletblack:Not all women are feminists. . If you think that all women are feminists, nothing could be further from the truth. Some women cannot be feminists because of their environment and for their safety. Some choose not to be because of the history of racism and transphobia that some feminists have carried on from past waves. Plenty of women simply don't know what feminism is or believe in the stereotypes that are covered here.

:bulletblack:Feminists are not all lesbians .You do not need to be a woman in a relationship with another woman to want to be treated as an equal in society with equal rights. And the minute someone pulls the lesbian card to insult feminists well... then you know what they're all about.

:bulletblack:Feminism might include men .It is a topic of some debate. Some say men will never experience life as a woman and because of this position cannot fully participate but can be allies. Others say that if others agree with feminist ideas and philosophy, why not call them feminists?

:bulletblack:Feminism : not concerned solely about "gender" or sex. Because different women face different hardships and experiences based on the fact that they are women. Women of color, trans women, Native women, immigrant women, lesbians, autistic women- all women, all their experiences are impacted by this fact differently.

:bulletblack:Feminism is not man-hating . Or any other gender hating. Or any sort of hate based solely on unchangeable characteristics. It does not need to include male issues to be a valid concern.

:bulletblack:Feminism does not blame everything on men . Anyone can promote (or fight against) sexism and the many other -isms.

:bulletblack:Feminism does not limit people to two sexes or two genders. Non-binary people exist. Stop acting like they don't.

:bulletblack:Feminism is not "men can never be abused/raped/etc". I hear this one a lot. That it's the fault of feminists that violence against men exists. This is so untrue it hurts. Men don't report domestic violence as much? Perhaps it's because society holds the view that women are weak, submissive, and can't hurt big strong men, so if a man is attacked by a woman he's not being a “real man”. Obviously not feminism.

:bulletblack:Feminism is not "you burn bras and not shave". Yeah, bras and shaving contribute to arbitrary standards of beauty perpetuated by society that are oppressive. But you know what? If not shaving makes you happy, by all means go for it. If you want or need to wear a bra or shave, do it. But neither is not a requirement to be a feminist.

:bulletblack:Feminism does not say men and women are identical. Because equality is not "let's all be treated exactly the same", it's everyone having their different needs met regardless of gender, orientation, class, ability, etc

:bulletblack:Feminism is not just for one demographic or culture. Second wave feminism made this mistake. Quite a few mistakes. And feminists recognize them. As stated before, women of all different backgrounds, places, and abilities have different experiences as women. Feminism cannot be objective, it has to address all women in their respective positions.

:bulletblack:Feminism is not anti-housewives.. It's anti-forced-into-being-a-housewife. If you want to be one of your own accord, great. If you don't want to be one, no one should be keeping you from doing what you want to in the working world, which is the problem at hand.

:bulletblack:Feminism does call out sexism when it's encountered. Against women and, yes, men. Because sexism can negatively impact anyone. If a woman can wear baggy jeans and a cap and be accepted as a tomboy, why should a man be harassed for wearing a skirt? For a woman to be masculine is fine because masculine is good, but for someone to be feminine is bad because femininity is seen as shallow, unintelligent, and all sorts of other negative traits.

:bulletblack:Feminism does recognize privilege. Sexism, racism, classism, ablism, homophobia, cissexism, white normativity, fatphobia, and general intolerance- all still alive and well. Not everyone is given the same opportunities. People aren't all treated equal. There is no “objective” truth or singular experience. If you don't shut up and listen to people who have different perspectives then as educated as you may think you are, you're not going to know what the fuck you're talking about. THAT is the most prevalent lesson I've taken away from feminism. Having privilege doesn't make you a bad person, but actively benefiting from it while oppressing other people does. In the USA, we're all taught from the perspective of the white cis, able-bodied male from (at least) kindergarten through high school. Want to get a more rounded perspective on the world? Sit down, shut up, and don't be afraid to admit that you've been wrong.

:bulletblack:Feminism does critique capitalism. Those who have been discriminated against and set back for countless years can't be expected to magically pull themselves up by their bootstraps like the privileged norm, especially when stereotypes and hate groups are still holding them back. Offer help to those that need, because human relationships and humanity itself is more important than greed.

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I welcome any sort of comments, but please be civil.
The point of this is to try and clear up these misconceptions.
Don't use this as a space to spread them.
If your comment looks like “omg feminists don't care about men” I will probably ignore you for what should be obvious reasons.

Base here
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Submitted on
June 10, 2011
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