Is It Ok To Be Confused About Feminism?

Gemma Cairney’s beginner’s guide to feminism -

Gemma Cairney’s beginner’s guide to feminism -

It’s important to realise that feminism involves both men and women’s rights.

Women are always saying,”We can do anything that men can do.” But Men should be saying,”We can do anything that women can do.”
— Gloria Steinem

What does being a feminist even mean in 2018? For many people they often think of the intense misconception that feminists either hate men, or believe that women are better. Assuming that we either glorify traditional views on femininity or that we hate it. Instead of this, it is simply about equality – men and women should be treated the same, neither gender is better so neither gender should be treated better.

I understand why it can be confusing though. Throughout time, feminism has adapted to mean many different things, which makes it confusing to determine what feminism actually is. That fact that feminism has the word ‘feminine’ within it seems to lead to preferential treatment of women over men. This isn’t the case. As Emma Watson put it in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

The word feminist can seem intimidating, or like a personal attack on men, if people don’t understand what it actually represents. It almost seems like there is a lot of blame attached to the word. It’s very important to recognise that men can be feminists too though – Just look at Watson’s HeForShe campaign.


Urban Dictionary takes a much different stance, defining it as 'A relentless political advocacy group pushing for special privileges for women, which pretends to be a social movement advocating equal rights for the genders.' They go on to say that the principles of modern day feminists are based on lies or emotional appeals.

Feminism defined by the dictionary is 'the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.' There are facts that support that women are still unequal to men.

The Guardian posted an article in April saying that 8 in 10 Uk firms pay men more than women and data indicates 9.8% median pay gap. Amber Rudd, home secretary and minister for women and equalities, quoted in the article, “they (buisnesses) should be putting action plans in place to break down the barriers to women’s progression in their organisations.”


Feminism isn’t calling for female superiority, which is the common misconception, it doesn’t favor women. Go back to the dictionary definition “advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”  Its simply outlining that we are all equal.


Feminism is about equality and supports everyone, by empowering women and liberating men from gender stereotypes. Why is it that a woman who wants to be in charge is ‘bossy’ but a boy isn’t? Why is it that a vulnerable man can’t be ‘macho?’ Is about giving everyone a choice. Let’s go back to Emma Watson again, her 2017 Vanity Fair cover where she was photographed wearing a crotchet bolero jacket with no top and bra underneath. She got angry responses and controversy and she fought back with this killer quote: 

Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom. It’s about liberation. It’s about equality. I really don’t know what my t*ts have to do with it
— Emma Watson

Feminism has found its way into all mediums, with many people embracing it. It’s ok if you’re confused about feminism though. If you want to read up, check out these awesome books that have received such brilliant reviews.

What A Time To Be Alone: The Slumflowers Guide To Why You’re Already Enough, By Chidera Eggerue (Check out her blog too!)

Everything I Know About Love, By Dolly Alderton (Read my separate blog post on reviewing this book).

Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions, By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

So whatever kind of feminist you are, be you, make the decisions that you are allowed to make. It’s important to explore what feminism means to women around the world, as it is an extremely relevant subject – we should all be equal! And if you ever feel like anyone is holding you down, remember :

You’re bad as hell and you were made with intention!
— Chidera Eggerue

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Stay Perfect, Messy People!