Before you try to answer the above question, you should first consider the term Feminism.
Merriam-Webster defines Feminism as:
1. Belief men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
2. Organized activities in support of women’s rights and interest.
2. The theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.
If you agree with the above definition of Feminism, then you can gladly call yourself a feminist because that’s what every feminists believes in. These are basic rights which should be granted to all human beings. In the previous decades, women proudly announced themselves as “Feminist” whereas women today are afraid of claiming this word even if they support the same principles, power and equality. So what are women afraid of?
There can be a number of reasons for their fear. First of all, it’s possible that some women have no idea about feminism at all. They may have heard bits and pieces from family, friends and outside resources and isn’t sure what it is. That’s why it’s important to have some research done before you can judge the topic. Secondly, some women may automatically be discouraged by feminism because they feel that it’ll compel them to be a feminist and force them to do things that they’re not willing to do. For example, a woman might support equal rights for both genders, but she’d like to stay home and take care of her family. That’s absolutely her choice, no one is going to force her out of the house to get a job if she’s not willing to. The feminists are only there to protect her rights and to assure that if she does want to ever get a job then the option is always open for her.
The third reason can be that women are afraid of being labeled into the category of Feminism and the hardship that comes along with it. This is because the opponents of feminism have ridiculed the word so well enough to create a form of fear in women’s minds. Therefore, many women are scared to be feminist because they do not want to be assumed or called “men haters” or any other derogatory terms like this. Also, lot of women fear that it will have a bad effect in their relationship with men since not all men support feminism. However, it has changed a lot since more and more men are claiming themselves as feminists and gladly supporting the feminist activities.
Another reason why women might dread the word feminism because they have a fear of losing the romance in their life. Some women may prefer the men to praise about how pretty they look, open the door for them, give up their seat to the women, practice the “ladies first” code, pay the bills after women, etc. Simply, these are courtesy and code of chivalry men used to follow in the 1950s. The ways of dating then were much more different from the ways of dating now. But, if a woman likes to stick to that belief then she’s more than welcome to do so, no one will force her to change her mind. Being a feminist doesn’t make anyone less romantic, in fact it opens more options for both genders. Today, not only men but women can also hold the doors for men, give up her seat for them and even share the bills if they want to.
Feminism opens a bundle of opportunities for both sexes. It isn’t something to be scared of but a wonderful thing to embrace. Sadly, it is misinterpreted by many and therefore, women are more anxious about feminism. But please keep one thing in mind, that great women abolitionists has fought for the rights and power that women have today. Therefore, misrepresenting it and turning away from it would degrade those who had devoted their time and life so we can be equal and free today. I see feminism as a way for me to challenge those ideas that society has enforced on people since ages. It gives me the ability to reject the stereotypes of gender roles created by the society. Feminism awakened me, empowers me and leads the path to a better lifestyle where I can decide which roles suits me the best. Let’s work together to depict the real meaning of what Feminism is and what it isn’t.
I hereby confirm that I am a Feminist by all means.