I’ve always been a feminist; from when I was told “boys will be boys” at eight years old, to when I was told I couldn’t be strong and intelligent because I’m a girl. I knew I had more worth than what society and even my schooling system told me. I’ve also never been degraded or put down for being a social activist, until I arrived at a special place called high school.

In my grade, being a feminist is the equal of being a man-hater. I’ve been called a “femi-nazi” by some of my friends, and have had guys laugh in my face when I’d speak up about the issue. When my best friend told me she would never classify herself as a feminist because she thought feminism was a crazy group of girls trying to eradicate boys and take over the globe, I realized I needed to give the world a PSA to clear things up.

Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” Never in there does it say women should be greater than men. That’s the definition of misandry. Feminism fights for things such as equal pay for equal work, equal opportunities, ending slanders and judgements, and putting a stop to rape. You would have to have no heart if you didn’t want those things.

Misandry is the belief that women are the dominant sex and should despise all men, therefore it is the reciprocal of misogyny. Misandry and misogyny are more similar to each other than to feminism, since their beliefs include hate and swollen ego. There are misandrists that classify themselves as feminists, but that is not what they are. There are also misogynists that classify themselves as traditionalists, but that is not what they are.

Feminism is the only true form of gender equality, and if you are not a feminist, you need to check yourself.

My mom and grandma have raised me to be independent, and to demand respect wherever I go. They set the example for me to follow, and have shown me how to be a strong woman who is equal to men in every aspect of life. I don’t understand how someone, either male or female, could not have this positive and healthy mindset.

Lately I’ve also been asked why this equality movement was called feminism if it was about men and women being equal in society. This is an excellent question with a concise and simple answer. It’s called feminism because it its the feminine traits in a person (disregarding their gender) that are chastised.

Think about it. Sayings such as “you fight like a girl” or “you throw a ball like a girl” depict female traits as being lesser and worse than male traits. I’ve heard these said to boys as well as girls, meaning not just girls should be standing up for feminism. Boys, this is your issue, too.

Now that you know the true meaning and goals of the feminist movement, and not just the false preconceptions and rumors flying around, answer these questions:

Do you believe rape is an issue, disregarding what the victim was wearing or how they were acting? Do you think wage gap between genders is a misogynist and hateful regime? Do you believe female politicians are just as credible and/or trustworthy as male politicians? Would you want your posterity to grow up and thrive in a world of equality and acceptance no matter what your gender?

If you said yes to any of these, congratulations! You’re a feminist. Welcome to the revolution.

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