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Myths and Truths about Feminism

Myth: All feminists are lesbians and bra-burning radicals who hate men.

Truth: Being feminist has nothing to do with sexual orientation or discrimination of the male gender. Feminists come from all different backgrounds and cultures to support equality and equity in general.

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Myth: Feminism has made women equal now, and there is no need for feminists or the current women's movement.

Truth: Women are still behind in many different ways; they continue to be paid less on average than men, many jobs are not friendly to mothers, and women continue to be responsible for the majority of household work (men averaging 7 hours a week while women average 14 hours).

*Also, Feminists not only believe in equality between men and women, but also in equality between every gender, class, race, and sexual orientation.

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Myth: Women can't be feminine and be a feminist at the same time.

Truth: Feminism is fundamentally about giving women choices, not about finding new ways to limit their self-expression; provided that women recognize that the choice to act in a traditionally feminine manner is just that - a choice - it is entirely acceptable and even quite common within the feminist movement.

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Myth: Feminism is only for middle-class white women.

Truth: Feminism is historically a multicultural cause. Today's feminist activists are women and men of all walks of life who seek to combat racism, sexism, classism, ageism, etc.

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Myth: Feminism only liberates women at the expense of men.

Truth: Feminism doesn't just liberate women; it also liberates men by breaking down the standards which society has put in place for both women and men. Men are taught in this society to be macho, emotionless leaders, and to never show weakness, such as being sad and therefore crying as a result of that sadness. These socially constructed rules cause men to be socially confined. Feminism says that it's okay for men to show weakness, be followers, and to show their emotions.

Source: Compiled by K. Hughes, J. Cardiel, and C. Cardiel; Clark University

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