By Kristin Ziegler
Dolly Parton once said, “I was the first woman to burn my bra. It took the fire department four days to put it out.” And while the days of feminist bra burnings are over — not that they were ever really an actual thing, because they were maybe a fire hazard and definitely silly — the trope refuses to burn out. Below are five other pesky feminist stereotypes we should also pull the extinguisher on.
“Male privilege” and “the patriarchy” are just academic feminist codes for “we hate all men — you, our dads, brothers, priests, boyfriends, husbands, and our own first-born male sons.”
Well, maybe some priests, but only those who dare challenge our right to love whomever we love or access to reproductive medical care.
Feminists do not hate men. On the contrary, men are important in our battle for safety from abuse, equality in the workplace, and dignity in all we do. That’s what feminism is, but some dudes won’t take our lady-feminist word for it. Feminist men can be a powerful tool (not to, like, objectify you guys or anything) in communicating that injustice and inequality do exist to their fellow brothers reluctant to listen.
Of course, feminists don’t just like men because they can help further our “agenda.” You know, some of our best friends are men!
Feminists hate makeup, plastic surgery, pushup bras, skinny women, diet, exercise, or anything else that might even only kind of relate to the Cosmopolitan magazine definition of beauty.
Although the topic of beauty can be a contentious one, many feminists would agree that the ultimate goal in one’s life is to discover, embrace, live, and be empowered by their authentic selves. If your true self is fake-tanned, fake blonde, lips pumped up into permanent duck face, and cheek implants that look like they could open cans on a camping trip, you can still be a feminist (and you might be Donatella Versace). And remember, Gloria Steinem is pals with and a supporter of the aforementioned Dolly Parton. Case closed.
On that note, feminists hate Cosmopolitan magazine?
Ask any little well-off suburban girl where she learned what a “clitoris” is (and 150 wild ways to stimulate it!) and she will probably tell you it was from her Mommy’s old Cosmos.
Credit where credit is due, Cosmo and similar magazines do talk frankly about many women’s issues that have been previously taboo. These are certainly not written for the feminist academic, as they might say. These magazines have published some “problematic” content, but perhaps we can all agree magazines like Cosmo can be a fabulous stepping stone. Today it’s “100 creative sex positions to try TONIGHT” (phew), and tomorrow might be “100 creative ways to smash the patriarchy.”
Women are already equal, so feminists are beating a dead horse.
Well, the U.N. disagrees with you.
Writing that “no nation treats its women as well as its men,” the examples of injustices faced by women are harrowing. Women face professional obstacles such as lower pay than male colleagues; having to fight to “prove themselves” to their employers that they can be mothers and valuable employees; violence on both the streets and in the home; unequal access to healthcare because women are more likely to live in poverty and/or not be taken seriously by medical professionals; the list goes on. We still need feminism.
In a similar vein, stop with the argument that “feminism isn’t interesting or the most important issue.” You may have a one-track mind, but many of us are intellectually capable of caring and learning about many issues at the same time. Really.
Feminists are smokin’ hot.
This isn’t actually a common feminist myth, but it should be. Feminists are self-assured, sassy, smart, and confident. Is there anything more beautiful?