Majority of people who believe in gender equality would not identify as a feminist. How is that possible when the foundation of being a feminist is the equality of the sexes?


The day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, millions around the world joined the 2017 Women’s March - its key aim was to highlight women’s rights. Many online movements such as the #MeToo movement (actress Alyssa Milano suggested that anyone who had been “sexually harassed or assaulted” should reply to her tweet with #MeToo) gave one and a half women a voice in more than 80 countries in 24 hours. Harvey Weinstein was jailed when more than 80 women came forward with sexual harassment claims against him. Celebrities such as Emma Watson launched an equality campaign with the UN called HeForShe. These campaigns and many more, brought feminism to mainstream attention however it has not been popular with young people in the Western world. Fewer than one in five young women would call themselves a feminist, this comes as a surprise as feminism has been in the spotlight lately. Why is it not so popular then?


There have been many stereotypes and misconceptions associated with feminism such as not wearing make-up, not shaving legs or not liking boys. Stereotypes such as these have persisted throughout the ages. For example, in the 1920s they were called spinsters and there was often speculation about their sexual preferences - this is still a stereotype/misconception today. The majority don’t want to call themselves feminists as they fear being associated with man-hating, lesbianism and a lack of femininity. You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. More than two thirds of britons support gender equality, however only 7% would call themselves feminists. 


The truth is - if you want a more equal society for women and men you are in fact a feminist. If you wonder why there is a gender pay gap in the workforce - you are a feminist. If you believe patriarchy is an unjust system that is oppressive to women - you are a feminist. Being a feminist simply means you believe both genders should be equal. So when asked next time if you are a feminist, say it confidently, in order for the negative stereotype around the word to be abolished in front of the eyes of the person your talking to.