By Rachel Benbrook, Guest Blogger
Recently a radio show called The Morning Blaze started a hashtag campaign entitled “how to spot a feminist.” The conversation on twitter quickly became filled with nastiness and stereotypes that sadly all too often encompass the ideals associated with feminism.
Twitter users used this opportunity to post tweets, such as:
Sadly this twitter campaign did not shock me. Statistics have shown that fewer women are choosing to classify themselves as feminists due to some of these wrongful sentiments. According to a 2013 poll conducted by the Huffington Post, only 1/5 of American women chose to identify themselves as feminist.
I find that the more I talk to other women, the more they seem to agree with feminist views such as equality and equal pay for equal work, yet they refuse to classify themselves as feminist because it seems that this word has somehow become controversial.
Although I was saddened to see such harsh sentiments freely thrown around the twitter sphere, I was heartened to see many people respond with their own #howtospotafeminist tweets.
Twitter users responded with tweets such as #howtospotafeminst “Simple—someone who believes men and women have equal rights and deserve equal opportunities” or....
Amidst the negativity surrounding feminism, it is wonderful to see many men and women standing up for the word and all that it truly represents.
Men and women bravely took to twitter to counteract the negative campaign and highlight the true meaning of feminism. When we see such misogynist sentiments being casually thrown around, I think we have an obligation to stand up for what is right.
The increasing negativity behind being classified as a feminist worries me for several reasons. I think that devaluing the advances we have made in women’s rights makes it difficult for us to continue to talk about the injustices that still prevail. Although we must celebrate the great strides that have been taken in the advancements of women, we must also acknowledge that feminism is still needed as long as there are inequalities.
Secondly, I find it disturbing that feminism has become classified as a way to hate men. If anything, feminism empowers men to break gender stereotypes and be who they are as much as women. Feminist thought has helped many countries achieve paid paternity leave, as well as campaigned for men to have the right be actively involved with their children and families. The feminist movement strives to push for greater levels of equality, which benefit both men and women.
I think Emma Watson said it best in her speech to the UN when she stated that even if you do not identify with the word feminist, it’s all right; “we are still looking for a uniting word, but the good news is we have a uniting movement. “
It is the ideology of equality for both women and men that encompasses feminism. I believe that the majority of the population believes in equality and justice, and, therefore, they are feminists whether they know it or not.
Whether it be a twitter campaign or a casually sexist remark from a friend or coworker, we need to politely stand up for the ideals that help make the world a better place for both men and women. This twitter campaign was full of discouraging content, however many men and women refused to stand by and let it go. Instead, they began tweeting their own views on feminism.
Feminism seems to suffer from being misunderstood. It is the sentiment behind feminism that matters most. We need to take back its meaning the true meaning of feminism and demand equality for everyone.
Let's chat! How do you spot a feminist? How do you spread the love for equality? Tell us about it here!
Rachel is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Leeds where she studied Political Communications. She is a passionate advocate of strong friendships, caffeine, social justice, current events, travels and adventures, as well as all things peanut butter. She enjoys watching Parks and Recreation, as well as teaching English to new language learners.
images via huffingtonpost.com & bostonnewstime.com