7 Misconceptions about The Word ‘Feminist’

Seven Things The Word ‘Feminist’ Does Not Mean
By Suzannah Weiss

Recently, I had a heated debate with one of my colleagues on an event held in our city Karachi on International Women’s Day. I would not discuss the dispute or the discussion that infuriate the heated debate. However, I must ask a question; What does Feminist mean? There are many self-made definitions. Or I must say assumptions, that can be found on this topic. Does the word feminist about women’s right on the grounds of social, economic and political rights equal to men? Or it’s about Women’s Superiority over men? I feel that sometimes the message of women equality is presented and delivered so emotionally that the word itself lost its meaning.

Suzannah Weiss wrote an article on Bustle about such misconceptions that people have about the concept of Feminist. According to her:

‘There has been a lot of confusion lately about what the word “feminism” means. Though feminists repeatedly insist that their goal is gender equality, critics continue badgering them with accusations of hating men, reinforcing the gender binary, and pursuing other things “feminism” does not mean. So, since we’ve already stated what feminism means again and again (short answer: It can mean a lot of things, but what it mostly comes down to is equality and being able to make the choices that are right for you), it’s time to clear up what it doesn’t.

First, in case you don’t know the actual definition of feminism, it is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men,” according to Google’s dictionary. I’ll admit this definition leaves something to be desired; modern feminism, for example, acknowledges more than two genders, so the movement is not just about advancing women. Also, many have critiqued the notion that marginalised genders should aspire to assume the male gender role in our current society since much of it is built around toxic masculinity and exists within a patriarchal system that should perhaps be dismantled altogether.

But what’s not wrong with this definition is its focus on equality, not female superiority, sameness, or any of the other things people sometimes think of when they hear the word “feminist.” So in the name of clarity, here are a few things that the word “feminist” does not mean.

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