#IWD2016: 5 misconceptions of Feminism, and why we should stand up for gender equality

Feminism – usually mistaken for negative behaviour towards men, or considering women’s power over men. International Women’s Day, an annual event, means we should take a closer look on some feminism related misconceptions.

Feminism is actually “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of sexes.” So, yes, it’s all about gender equality. At least it should be.

Feminism had its origins in around late 1800s . Depending on country, historical moment and culture, feminists around the world had slightly different goals. However, it was all mostly about obtaining women rights.

Why is it called feminism?

Let’s just remember that, in our history, women didn’t have enough rights and it was always a man who was more privileged. There was even a time when women were not allowed to enter a pub! Because of that lack of equal rights for women, feminism is called feminism.

If it’s about equality, then why is the number of misconceptions concerning feminism is growing? Why do some people think it’s all about being hostile towards men? Why we keep going so far from it should all be about? Why do some people reject feminism altogether?

Let’s take a look at some common misconceptions:

  1. Feminism is all about crazy women hating men.

No! And no, those few ladies screaming “I don’t need a men” or “I hate men” right into a camera shouldn’t define the whole movement – which stands basically for equality of the sexes.

  1. It is only for women.

No! It’s not only women being feminists. Anyone who believes in equality of sexes could be a feminist. And yes, there are obviously men joining the movement. Feminism is not only women-friendly or exclusively for women.

  1. It’s all about girls’ power over men.

No, it isn’t. From definition and its origins, it’s not about power and supremacy, but equality.

  1. Feminism is a war between sexes.

No, it’s standing up for what is right – for the whole society, not only women. Once again: if it’s bringing equal rights, why would we need to create war between us?!

  1. Feminists cannot be feminine/girly/sexy.

Over-exaggerated image of feminists in media (that some of them create themselves) usually defines how feminists look like nowadays. It is not like you need to cut all your hair off and not shave your legs to be a feminist. It’s just about believing in the right cause and being active in fighting for equal rights for all genders, not how you look.


And yes, agreed it should be working both ways, equality is equality. It’s not like feminism itself should be screaming for better treatment only for women. Let’s not forget it’s all about bringing equal social, political and economical rights, not any kind of hate or discrimination.

So maybe we should stop pretending it is so bad, or creating this fake concept of a war between sexes. Let’s just connect and fight for equal rights for all of us. If you don’t know how, there’s an amazing community called #HeForShe, explaining and fighting for gender equality.

If you fight for equal rights, what’s wrong in being a feminist, or fighting for gender equality. Whatever you call it, it’s all fighting for a right cause. Don’t let labels overwhelm you.

 Natalia Kaluza

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