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FAQs about feminism

Questions we always see about feminism, and our answers

By Andrea Tim | Published: 7 Mar 2017

FAQs about feminism
Photo: Imaxtree.com

What is feminism?
Feminism is the belief that both genders have equal political, economic, personal and social rights.

Can men be feminists?
Yes, men can be feminists. They are not traitors to their own kind.

Are feminists lesbian?
Some feminist women are lesbian, but some feminists are also straight. Your sexuality has nothing to do with your views on feminism.

Are all male feminists gay?
No. (See above.)

What does a feminist look like?
That's like asking what a human being looks like. Can you be more specific?

All feminists hate romantic comedies, flowers and romantic stuff like that, right?
No.

How are men and women supposed to be equal when women just aren't as physically strong as men?
Excuse me, what?

If Emma Watson calls herself a feminist, why did she wear such a risqué top in that photo shoot?
We'll let her answer that for you: "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 tits have to do with it. It's very confusing."

Do feminists hate men?
Some might have their reasons to, but most probably don't. We also don't (necessarily) burn our bras for the cause and swear off sex. But we will disagree strongly with men (and women!) who believe in patriarchy and who think that a feminist women is being hypocritical if she's comfortable and open with her sexuality.

Why are feminists angry all the time?
We aren't. But we would be if someone told us that feminists are just a bunch of angry women who hate men.

Are all feminists pro-choice?
As in everything else, feminists believe in having a choice. You may choose to be pro-life yourself, and also be a feminist by respecting that others can be pro-choice if they want to.

I believe in gender equality, but I've never been in a protest march. Am I still a feminist?
Yes.

What can I do for feminism?
Know your rights as a human being at the workplace, at home and on the streets. Support other women who want to fight for gender parity. Don't pit women against men. Don't pit women against women. Don't body shame. Don't try to make feminism a passing trend; it should be the foundation of how things are run in the world, not merely a slogan on a T-shirt. Love men. Love women. Love yourself. (Note: This is not a comprehensive list.)

Is feminism for everyone?
Yes. In the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "we should all be feminists."

What is the point of International Women's Day?
It's to celebrate how far women have come in a world previously bent on patriarchy. It is also for us to remind each other of how much work we have to do to make sure that every woman across the globe is protected from discrimination and can benefit from gender equality.

If equality is such an issue, why isn't there also an International Men's Day?
There is, and it's celebrated on 19 November. It focuses on men's health and, you guessed it, gender equality.

There are pussy hats. Why isn't there a penis hat?
This is not a competition. But if you insist...


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