Feminism is not sexist, don't get it twisted

Monday, June 07

By Ana Lucía León

When I was little, my mom taught me that feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities; it's the theory of the political, economical, and social equality of the sexes.

Let me set one thing straight, I consider myself a feminist, but only under the terms that have been previously described. As a feminist I do not endorse body shaming towards men. I do not endorse female-initiated violence, and most importantly, I do not believe that women are better than men. However, I do believe both men are women are worthy of: equal opportunities, respect and safety. They should have the right to decide over their own bodies, their own affairs, and their own futures. In short, I believe men and women should be treated equally.

Over the past couple of months it has been brought to my attention that the principles of this powerful movement are being slaughtered by those who don't know their actual meaning, and I'm here to set the record straight. Feminism should not be used as an excuse to do things we wouldn't be okay with the other gender doing. It's as simple as that. 

The other day I saw a TikTok of a girl holding a tape measure by the 3-inch mark and saying "if this is you, you better lower your [bleep] tone when you talk to me." I just stood there in complete shock while looking at the 900K sign below the like button, trying to understand why did people agree with her, why did people liked the video. The way I saw it, that was just some good old-fashioned body shaming towards men, and it's not okay. As a feminist I find this type of behavior repulsive, because (believe it or not), guys also have feelings, guys also have insecurities, and guys also get offended when something like this pops up on their FYP. Think of it this way, if a video like that came up on your FYP about a guy talking poorly about a girl or whatever the case might be, what would happen?

If we, as feminists, ask for equality, we have to treat men the same way we expect them to treat us, and trust me, making them feel bad about themselves is just not the way to go.

I must admit I'm no stranger to the sexist behavior that seems to rule our world. I am well aware of the patriarchy and its oppressive nature towards women. As a woman, I have experienced this type of behavior first-hand, but that doesn't give me the right to treat the opposite gender as poorly as I've been treated; that would be like fighting fire with fire, which, in my opinion is one of the most useless mantras ever. To quote one of my favorite authors: "if everyone fought fire with fire, the whole world would go up in smoke." Do people actually think violence can be eradicated with more violence? Hate to break it to you, but it can’t.

I'm deeply saddened by all the radical actions people have done in the name of feminism. A movement that was once pure hearted and centered upon the belief of equality for both men and women is now being confused as some ideology that accepts and promotes this type of sexist behavior against men. A movement that took countless efforts to be recognized as a respectable force to be reckoned with, is now being seen as a radical and even violent ideology that serves as an excuse to promote violence in the hopes of being heard.

I implore you to please stop mixing up terms that don't have anything to do with each other, and to all the people that are acting violently in the name of feminism, I'd recommend doing your research before doing anything harmful or radical in the name of a movement you-clearly-don't fully understand.

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