It’s a simple question: Are you a feminist? But you might find that it’s a whole lot harder to actually answer.
The basic principle of feminism is straightforward but often really confusing. “Feminism isn’t about women being better than men or one sex overthrowing the other,” says Jackie Clark, a feminist and gender studies scholar at the University of Florida. “Instead, it is about gender equality for everyone no matter how they choose to identify, which includes people who are gender nonconforming.”
Does this definition change your mind at all about feminism? If you’re still not sure about what’s so awesome about feminism, trust us, there’s a lot to love! Between celebrities talking about their feminist beliefs to the #YesAllWomen movement, being a feminist has never been cooler.
Need some convincing? Here are six awesome reasons why it’s great to be a feminist!
1. Feminists stand for smashing stereotypes
Forget that old idea of feminists being radical, angry, bra-burning women who hate men. Feminism means standing up for gender equality, and that means not being afraid to show off your girl power!
Kate Masters, a junior at Wesleyan University, thinks it’s important for collegiettes to realize what feminism is all about. “Feminism doesn’t mean that girls are better than boys,” she says. “Feminists stands for all people being given equal opportunities in all walks of life, like getting paid for the same job or being treated the same at work or in other environments. It’s a really crucial distinction that not a lot of people understand.”
Supporting gender equality? We’re all about that!
2. Women’s history is really cool
Clark thinks this is definitely history worth discovering. “Throughout their years of schooling, students learn a very exclusive history, one consisting of mostly males,” she says. “It’s absolutely fascinating to go back and learn what women have been up to during the last couple centuries, and it’s sure to make you think a lot more about gender equality.”
3. Women have seen a ton of gains in recent years
The future for women looks as interesting as the past! Women are holding positions in more fields than ever, from Megan Smith recently becoming the White House’s new Chief Technology Officer to Michelle Howard becoming the first female to be the second-highest ranking naval officer.
“It’s been so inspiring to see women make all of these gains,” says Megan Parkerson, a senior at the University of Arizona. “It makes me want to aim higher with what I want to do with my life, which is awesome.”
The accolades and positions keep coming for women everywhere, and there’s no better time to join the movement!
4. There are more feminists out there than you think
What do Taylor Swift and Lena Dunham have in common? They’ve both publicly talked about being feminists! If you were ever worried that you’d be the only one, you’ve got quite a crew now. Calling yourself a feminist is even more empowering when you have awesome women doing the same thing!
Julie Ascott, a junior at the University of Florida, felt really inspired after hearing that celebrities were supporting feminist values. “After reading that interview with Shailene Woodley a while back where she just seemed ignorant about feminism, I was really discouraged that no celebrities really cared about gender issues,” she says. “It’s been really great to see other well-known people like Lena Dunham speaking out about their views!”
Additionally, more collegiettes than ever are getting on the female empowerment train. Kate says that efforts around women’s rights have increased on Wesleyan’s campus. “A lot of my friends are involved with causes relating to girl power and gender equality, which makes me feel much more comfortable on campus,” she says. “For example, Wesleyan had its first women’s conference in a decade last year, and activists brought the Monument Quilt to campus early this fall.”
Looking to get involved on your campus? Check to see what gender equality groups are at your college, like a feminist club, a women’s rights group or a campus chapter for an organization that empowers women, like She’s the First. If there aren’t any, consider starting one yourself!
5. Feminism is taking over the web
From the powerful #YesAllWomen movement on Twitter (where women talked about the inequality and sexism every female has typically seen in her lifetime) to all of the cool feminist websites out there, feminists know how to utilize the Internet!
Megan says she really started researching feminism because of what she saw online. “After seeing all of those powerful Twitter hashtags (especially #YesAllWomen and all of the accounts that sprouted up because of it), I began looking around to see what else was out there about feminism,” she says. “I ended up reading a ton of feminist blogs and new sources, which was really interesting.” In fact, Megan is now considering starting a blog about feminism and women’s issues!
Wondering what feminist resources are out there? Here are a couple of popular blogs and websites to check out:
- Jezebel: One of the most widely read women-oriented publications, this site has everything from important female empowerment stories to great coverage of Beyoncé.
- Feministing: One of the most popular feminist blogs out there, Feministing proves that feminism isn’t just about women by covering a wide range of topics (everything from coverage of Ferguson to male birth control). What makes it so amazing? Lots of great reporting and attitude.
- The Feminist Wire: A great option for hard feminist news.
Take a read and get educated!
6. Beyoncé is a feminist
Queen Bey is a feminist through and through. After all, she’s written multiple songs about how girls are totally awesome, continues to rock the male-dominated music industry and has openly talked about issues regarding gender equality. Bottom line: She’s a great advocate for feminists everywhere. Need we say more?
Being a feminist rocks, and there are plenty of reasons to absolutely love it! And hey, it also helps that you’re in a league with the Queen.