What "I'm Not A Feminist" Really Means

by Emma Cueto

It's becoming more and more common for women in the public eye to identify openly as feminists — and possibly as a result, also more common for women to publicly reject the label. But a new video from the Huffington Post explains what saying "I'm not a feminist" is really saying. Spoiler: It's not actually a good thing.

As someone who grew up in a feminist household, I am constantly surprised at how many people reject feminism or consider it to be an unnecessary movement — or the most confusing, think that it's about hating men. Honestly, if there are people out there who think that my wanting to be treated as equal by our society means I hate men, then I probably never wanted to meet those people anyway.

Truth be told, there really is no better indication that we really do need feminism than the way our society frequently conflates feminism with "hating men" — if we are so used to men being privileged over women that trying to right that balance is considered "hate," that's a pretty good indication we need some drastic action. And the fact that we live in a country supposedly built on equality while simultaneously demonizing movements that actually advocate for equality is deeply ironic, not to mention troubling.

Anyway, if you don't consider yourself a feminist and go around saying that you aren't, here are a few things you should know:

1. You Think You're Saying You Don't Hate Men

But really, that's not it at all.

2. Really, Hating Men And Being A Feminist Are Totally Separate Things

I suppose you could be a feminist who hates men, if you really wanted to be, but that's not what the movement is about.

3. The Truth Is, Men Are Not Systematically Oppressed Because Of Their Gender

Women, though, are. And this is verified by quantifiable data. The facts as not up for debate.

4. Feminism Is Just About Basic Gender Equality

So if you believe in that, you might just be a feminist.

And because these ladies didn't have time to get into the whole "I'm not a feminist; I'm a humanist!" fallacy, I'll go ahead and go ahead and cover that — humanism is already a thing. In fact, it's actually several different varieties of thing, all loosely related to learning, education, and rational thought. It's not at all related to social power structures or the rights and freedoms of various groups.

And if you're still wondering why feminism doesn't have a different gender-neutral name, I'd say that if, after centuries upon centuries of women having their rights and freedoms trampled upon, you don't think women deserve a movement dedicated primarily (though not exclusively) to advocating for our interests and that is unashamed to label itself as such, then all I don't know what to tell you.

So to all you "I'm not a feminists" out there, take a look at the video. I promise, feminism is not as scary as you think.

Images: The Huffington Post (4)