By Abraham Haifa/reporter
Feminism isn’t about burning bras and hating on men.
This misconception could be why some women don’t claim themselves to be feminists, a speaker said in the speech “Demystifying Feminism” on March 27 on SE Campus.
“Anybody who believes that women are equal to men and should have the same opportunities that men do are feminists, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman. If you believe in equality, you’re a feminist,” SE English instructor Leigh Anne Bramlett said.
The presentation outlined the myths about feminism because Bramlett believes people misinterpret the meaning of the word feminism or as she calls it, the “F-word.”
“A lot of times when we think about the word feminism, [we think it means] let’s be radical and militant, and let’s tell everybody what to do,” she said.
People have taken the word feminist and made up their own definition for the term, Bramlett said.
“I’ve always veered away from the idea of feminism because I separate the actual terminology versus [what others think it means,]” SE student Dakota Hervey said.
Hervey is still uncertain about the idea of calling herself a feminist.
“I do believe in equality in all forms of fashion, but I still won’t call myself a feminist because I still don’t know everything there is to know about,” she said.
Bramlett presented a slideshow of famous women like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift professing not to be feminists, which Bramlett attributes to misconceptions about feminism.
“I do think that there are a lot of weird little misconceptions floating out there in the world about what it means to be a feminist,” Bramlett said. “A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, and if you stand for equality, you’re a feminist.”
People associate feminism with women hating men or wanting to be men, she said.
“We are not trying to replace men, nor do we hate men,” she said.
Bramlett wishes she didn’t have to remind people that she doesn’t hate men.
“I like men, but I shouldn’t have to say ‘I am a feminist, but I like men. Please don’t hate me,’” Bramlett said.
Feminist are always having to explain themselves to people who do not understand feminism, Bramlett said.
“Feminists don’t shave their legs or their armpits,” she said jokingly. “Of course, you can shave your armpits.”
Students stuck around to engage the speaker in a discussion, and Bramlett reminded students that feminism is also sensitive to all gender roles.
“Men cry and have emotions too. And sex is not just a scorecard for men,” she said.
These are stereotypes that hurt men and feminists are sensitive to them, she said.
“Really, what we want is equal access to everything, and we shouldn’t have less of it just because we were born female,” she said.