By Hyma Gollakota ('22)
Feminism is defined as the theory of political, economical, and social equality of the sexes and any organized activity that involves these ideas falls under the name. This is sometimes misinterpreted as misandry, or the hatred of men.
The confusion is due to some of the participants in the movement acting impulsively and ruining the reputation of all others involved. This can be seen anywhere and these outliers can easily be confused with the true motive of feminism. Because of that misinterpretation, people can grow to be completely opposed to the idea of feminism.
From this, a group called the anti-feminists were born. Well-known lawyer and Republican advocate, Phyllis Schlafly has spoken against feminists multiple times. She says that “Feminism is doomed to failure because it is based on an attempt to repeal and restructure human nature.”
This statement and majority of her other quotes, however, were not progressive and are quite old-fashioned. Her viewpoints are seen as controversial nowadays because of the mass increase in size of the feminist movement.
Schlafly claimed that “One reason a woman gets married is to be supported by her husband while caring for her children at home. So long as her husband earns a good income, she doesn't care about the pay gap between them.”
These quotes don’t sit well with many of the younger women of the world due to the constant change of gender norms and stereotypes. A woman might not marry a man or she may not stay at home with her children. There are new possibilities for a woman and this outdated way of thinking is frowned upon by many.
There are women out there who don’t identify as feminists, but still connect with many of the core beliefs.
Freshman Varsha Menon states “I don't have problems with the movement itself, but I don't like how sometimes people who are a part of the movement take it way too far. Some claim to be part of it yet misuse the values.”
Menon’s quote connects to the idea of misandry and how women misuse the movement and its goals.
However, the plurality of women support the feminist movement and are either strong supporters or just supporters of it according to a study done by the Washington Post.
Freshman Victoria Cohen said, “I believe in the advancement of women and I believe in the equal opportunity for all genders (and races, cultures, etc.).”
This is one of the many reasons that modern women tend to lean towards feminism.
The people participating in the movement are often judged for their beliefs and can be discouraged.
Despite possible judgement, Senior Sadhvi Mohankumar, President of SBHS’ chapter of Amnesty International, is still dedicated to this cause.
She said that “[Misandrists] are radicals and I do not think they represent feminism or feminists despite what they claim to be part of.”
Despite the bad reputation that misandry puts on feminism, if those who relate to the true morals of the movement are heard, the movement still lives on.