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  • Writer's picturevaishnavi prathap

5 Myths About Feminism

It's truly ironic that feminists, who strive to break down stereotypes, often find themselves subjected to the very stereotypes they seek to dispel. The prevalence of negative rhetoric and hostility towards feminism has given rise to a new wave of individuals who identify as 'equalists. In this article let's discuss 5 common myths about feminism.

When the ideologies are the same, why are some people ashamed to identify as feminists. I believe it is because feminists are stereotyped as man-hating, marriage recking, braless, shouting, women with hairy arms & legs. So let us throw some light on popular feminist myths.

Here are the top 10 myths about feminism:

1. Feminists Are Man-Haters

The similarity of the word feminism to the words’ female’ or ‘femininity’ does not mean feminism is the glorification of women. Feminism, by definition, is the belief in the social, economic, and political equality of genders.

It is beyond my understanding that when we say women should have as much to say about all human affairs as men have, how can it be presumed as hating men.

To make feminism a reality, we need people irrespective of their genders who acknowledge their privilege, who are not afraid to call out patriarchy, and who want to make this world a safe space with equal opportunities.

2. Bra Burning Feminists

Let me take you back to the history of bras. Bras started gaining popularity in America during the time of World War One. The traction was mostly due to the scarcity of the metal previously used in corsets that were then being used in ammunition. Women started using it to make their breasts look spherical and pray it works against gravity.

On September 7, 1968, a protest against a Miss America beauty pageant sparked in the streets of New Jersey. Around 200 feminists and activists gathered mops, lipsticks, and high heels into a “Freedom Trash Can”. One young woman removed her bra from under her shirt and threw it in the trash can. This is from where the image of the bra-burning-feminist came about, which in reality never happened.

This doesn’t mean that not wearing a bra is the basic eligibility criteria for becoming a feminist. It is about a choice not wearing a bra without being questioned on one’s modesty or being stared at your nipples like something otherworldly is sitting on your breasts.

In a world where if we still have to think about modesty, culture, fear of being raped before choosing to wear or not wear a piece of garment, we have to admit it is problematic.

3. Feminists are not Feminine

Many people think that if you are a feminist, you can no longer be feminine. Why don’t we start by decluttering characteristics from the dusty boxes of femininity and masculinity?

Feminism is about an idealogy that has nothing to do with how one dresses. It is about opinions and actions. So one can be as much of a feminist by wearing a bra, lipstick, long hair, and a little black dress as someone with a pixie cut, trousers, and tshirt.

It is all about the choice of wearing and doing what one wants with no harm done.

4. Feminism Is Un-India

According to statistics, one Indian woman gets raped every 16 minutes, and in every 4 minutes, one Indian woman is mistreated by her in-laws. According to statistics of 2020, 350 crimes against children are recorded every day.

According to the UN, with the increasing numbers of female feticide, India accounts for 45.8 million missing women population in the world in the last 50 years. According to 2013 data, the gender pay gap in India was estimated to be 24.81%.

Though the Enlightenment heavily influenced the starting of feminism in Europe during the late 1700s with this alarming number of crimes against women, does it matter where it started? Feminism is the need of the hour in India.

Indian feminists fighting for women empowerment, rape, honor killing, dowry deaths, pay gap, castism, etc., is the most Indian reform movement happening now.

5. Goals Of Feminism Are Already Met

Only because women in some parts of the world are working, have the right to education, vote, and drive does not mean feminism is no longer relevant.

In a world where chances of a woman in a car crash suffering 47% more injuries than men because automobiles are designed for men, where every second one girl is married before the age of 18, where it will take another century to close the gender gap, how can we say that the job of a feminist is done?

To keep the article short and crisp, I could only handpick Top 5 Feminist Myths, but the list goes on. As they say, when you know better, you do better. I hope, along with busting some myths, I could shine a light on what feminism as a whole stands for.

Still not convinced? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or write to us.

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