Recently, the topic of feminism has been prominent in the news and the subject of heated Internet debates on forums such as debate.org. While feminist groups have existed for centuries, the latest coverage of the feminist movement has caused many women to publicly identify themselves as feminists. However, the trend has also sparked a group of anti-feminist women to create their own movement, known as “Women Against Feminism.”
The group’s website, womenagainstfeminism.com, has gained increasing fame over the last few months. Its home page features images of women holding up signs that state “I don’t need feminism because…” and then proceed to list the reasons why each woman feels she does not need feminism in her life.
One image on the anti-feminist movement’s Tumblr page shows a woman holding up a sign that reads, “I don’t need feminism because I want to promise my man to love him, honor him, and obey him.” In my opinion, those who see themselves as part of this anti-feminist group are, for the most part, confused or uninformed as to what feminism truly means.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, feminism is defined as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” Contrary to the misconception that many individuals involved in the anti-feminist movement believe to be true, feminism does not promote the idea that women should viciously put men down.
In reality, feminism advances the idea that women should be of equal status and value to men and exist with equal opportunities as men.
Some women, who are unsure as to whether the word “feminist” accurately describes them, are often hesitant to call themselves feminists due to the common notion that feminists are militant or aggressive. Others equate the word with a lack of femininity.
Some participants on the “Women Against Feminism” website claim that they do not need feminism because they enjoy cooking, sewing, and other hobbies that are traditionally considered women’s work.
Recently, celebrities have been asked whether they consider themselves feminists. According to Time Magazine, while stars such as Beyonce, Lena Dunham, and Amy Poehler have publicly come out as feminists this year; other celebrities have answered that they do not consider themselves feminists. As reported by The Huffington Post, stars who claim that they are not feminists include Shailene Woodley, Madonna, Carrie Underwood, and Katy Perry.
In an interview with Time Magazine, Woodley explained why she is not a feminist.
“I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance,” she said.
Woodley, in addition to many other women worldwide, simply seems misinformed about what feminism is. Ironically, feminism promotes exactly the balance of which Woodley speaks: the balance achieved when men and women exist in full equality.