- Valentina I-Cortez
Modern-Day Feminism or Why The Term “Feminazi” Should Be Banned
A common term that is often used in our modern day developing society is “Feminazi”, you may have heard this term before or maybe you even have used this word yourself. Whatever your own personal connection to this word may be, it is known that is should be considered hate speech, and frankly should be banned completely from the vocabulary of any language.
To understand why this term should be abandoned, we must first examine the origins of its meaning. The word “Feminazi” is a cross between the words feminist and Nazi. Now, you may be thinking, hang on a minute, how did gender equality get mixed up with the Holocaust and Hitler’s Nazi regime; well, I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t asking myself the same thing. The term is first of all unjust, when placing two words together that shouldn’t even be thought of in the same context. The Holocaust and reign of Hitler was undoubtedly one of the darkest times in our modern history, however it is somehow now being used in correlation with the word feminist to express some sort of radical belief against men. How does a term signifying the systematic genocide of millions of innocent individuals get conflated with a term that in all its spirit aims and practices to demolish patriarchy and other social hierarchies? Labelling a feminist as a feminazi only reveals the proponent’s orthodoxy and misogyny. Feminazi is a verbal attempt at outright misogyny. Charlotte Proudman in an article explaining her encounter with the word writes, “Women do not need to be radical to be called a feminazi. They simply have to challenge sex inequality.”
While it is true that people are able to be very right wing in their own beliefs such as religion and political stance, there is no such thing as an extreme feminist. You are either for gender equality, or not; it’s really that simple. There exists no such thing of “I believe in gender equality but I’m not a feminist”, because Feminism is gender equality.
Something that may or may not shock some of you is that many people understand Feminism as being the equality of both genders, but still refuse to support it simply because of the fact that they truly believe women are inferior. In our modern day society, as especially in our diverse international school, adults and people or authority believe that yes, indeed, people have their different views, but sometimes do not understand how extreme the circumstances can be when dealing with serious issues like this one. I, myself, have witnessed on multiple occasions people in my own class saying out loud with absolutely no shame “Women are inferior. They shouldn’t have equal rights.” Children are not always taken seriously when coming forward with these kinds of messages, and a phrase used too often not in the education system, but also in our society is “Boys will be Boys.” Because as you guessed it, these misogynistic comments came from teenage boys. Not only is it disturbing that people that I have known for many years were suddenly spewing these radical beliefs in a common classroom, but when another boy argued in favour of Feminism (which was obviously completely against their radical beliefs of ‘equality’), another boy who wasn’t even involved in the debate said “I’ll bet he’s transgender.” To which I found myself replying with “Why? Because he believes in gender equality?” ...And the boy said “Yes.”
We don’t understand the severity of our situation until it is staring us right in the face, until there is a clear, black and white example of what the problem is. Even if my own conversation with that boy was a joke to him, we need to find the deeper meaning here which lies in the fact that if he wasn’t joking; he found that expressing his opinion on another boy's sexual identity simply because he was brave enough to speak out in favour of what Gender Equality was, is funny. There is an even more serious problem we haven’t even considered yet: exposure to the media. Popular internet stars are often seen making mockeries of Feminism and making the same jokes that we are seeing being repeated back by younger generations. Awful and crude words which are considered funny to children who have grown up being exposed to that, and shown that its acceptable to make a mockery out of people’s sexuality, origin and even their race.
The term feminazi arose when men became offended by women expressing their desire to stop gender inequality in a way that made them feel attacked. They suddenly feel offended by women wanting equality between them and men. Because Feminism isn’t men losing any rights, it’s simply granting women the rights that men already have been given. Some women even use the term feminazi to get their point across when they are referring to a woman who hates men. However, there is a correct term for that example which should be utilized in correct context. When speaking about a man who is strongly prejudiced against women, we used the term “misogynist”, and for women who have a strong prejudice against men, the term is “misandrist”. So when coming across a woman who has misandrist ideologies, we should absolutely NOT call her a feminazi, as the term is intolerable and wrong. The whole stigma with the actual word feminist has been made clear, because of the term feminazi. The word is considered taboo in many instances, simply because the two terms get confused. However many times I have to bring this up, I will, there is no such thing as an extreme feminist! You are either for gender equality, or not; and women who believe they should be superior to men are not feminists.
I’ve come to find that a lot of boys my age are surprised to learn that sexual assault and general things that women have to put up with every day have happened to the majority of teenage girls all around the world. I truly believe that part of the problem lies within the education and ignorance of these boys that are being brought up in. Having had serious conversations with many of my male friends in these past few days, its safe to say that them actually listening to real experiences from people they know has a huge impact on how they look at the problem itself. There’s a difference between hearing about a problem and seeing it for yourself or hearing someone you know experiencing that issue.
A case study shows that “International Men’s Day” is googled more often in the month of International Women’s Day, than any other time of the year. Which means that the only time men actually care about “International Men’s Day” is when they need to argue against these so called “feminazi” that International Men’s Day should be celebrated equally because it exists. More evidence to support this argument would be my own personal experience. In the split second that International Women's Day was mentioned, a boy had to google International Men’s Day and announce its existence to the crowd that had gathered. Fortunately for him, there was evidence that supported my argument and it only took 30 minutes of facts and questioning his morals before he started to question what he had been brought up thinking. Proving: that people’s opinions can change.
People believe in their own opinions when that is what they have grown up or been exposed to when their brains were developing. It isn’t impossible for someone who believes in that ideology to become educated and to actually think very carefully about what they are saying. I dare any of the boys in this school who truly believe men are superior to women, to go home to their mothers tonight and to tell her that to her face.
“When a feminist expresses an opinion too militant for the orthodoxy, because it is only then that sheer negligence and insensitivity of the user will be exposed. Resistance is key. It has always been.”