Published on November 18th, 2013 | by Betty Schnockered1
The F Word: What Does It Really Mean?
We’ve gone over what a feminist looks like, so let’s establish what a feminist is. Feminism is the belief that men and women are equal and should be treated that way. If you agree with that “ism,” then you’re a feminist. It’s that simple, but somehow it still gets misunderstood, just ask the internet.
If you ask Google, feminists are: crazy, hypocritical, sexist, ugly, mean and more. Until I looked into it, I did not realize what a dangerous person I am because there are people out there convinced that feminists and all the things that we stereotypically do are slowly eroding society.
There are people in the world who fear and misconstrue the concept of feminism so completely that they think Girl Scout Cookies are a threat. According to radio pastor Kevin Swanson, “The individualism of feminism has been devastating to this country.” He went on to explain that we should be boycotting Girl Scout cookies because Girl Scouts somehow teach girls Communist ideals. Also, there are lesbians at Girl Scout conventions and one of these supposedly dangerous lesbians is the treasurer of Planned Parenthood.
Somehow this tenuous logic thread is enough to for him conclude that Girl Scout cookies are a tool in building a Communist state run by lesbians who force everyone to go to Planned Parenthood, or something…Obviously there are quite a few logic holes in that theory. Personally I had no idea the Girl Scouts had such an expansive plan. During my time in the GC all I did was craft and sell cookies. Clearly I missed the day we all got our “Hammer and Sickle Power” badge. I knew my sash was lacking.
There are websites espousing the view that girls shouldn’t play sports because they think sports make girls less feminine and take time away from learning valuable homemaking skills. There’s nothing wrong with being a housewife, I’ve tried it and I failed pretty pathetically, and if that’s what you want to do, then go for it. I’m just saying that to assume that ALL girls are destined to be housewives is a worldview that I’m surprised still exists, so I’m probably the naïve one in this instance.
It’s not only your odd outlier website that doesn’t understand the simplicity of the F word. If you scroll to the comment section of almost any blog posting or article about feminism, you’ll get people accusing each other of a myriad of things. Someone always calls the writer’s view too inclusive, too exclusive or outdated. My favorites are the comments calling out other feminists for judging each other too harshly; followed by the usual “this is why women can’t work together,” and then capped off by a troll popping in to say that feminism is sexist and then everyone feeds the troll with their blazing lady fury (Lady Fury would be an excellent derby name).
So why do people get it wrong? The clichéd answer is that people fear what they don’t understand. The other part of the answer is that if you put an “ism” on the end of anything, people get confused and act like it’s more complicated than it is. Is it really that difficult to treat everyone the same and support other people who do the same thing? Heck no, so let’s just try to keep things simple. Perhaps we should replace the “ism” with the oft quoted “don’t be a douchebag” rule. It’s overly simplified but if we keep it simple, the simple-minded might actually understand it.
Still not sure if you’re a Feminist? Take this easy quiz to find out (F bomb warning!).