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27.
You may have heard that feminists are man-hating lesbians who like to burn their bras in public, or bitter women who don't shave their armpits and despise sex. AND, if you listen to Pat Robertson, feminists are encouraged to kill their own children and overthrow the government. If you haven't guessed it already, all of the above - ranging from the silly to the outright ridiculous - are simply stereotypes. The actual definition of a feminist (according to the American Heritage Dictionary) is someone, male or female, who believes in social, political and economic equality between the sexes. Basically, feminists believe that women and men should be treated the same and given the same rights. Now that yu know the definition of "feminist", here's a little background info. Even though the term was developed in France (feminisme) in the mid-1800s, it didn't become popular until the 1960s. By the 1960s, the women's movement was well underway and women all over were campaigning for equal rights across the board - from eliminating job discrimination to gaining reproductive rights and political representation in the government. Previously, these women's groups had used the term "women's liberationist" to define themselves, but as it began to lose popularity they embraced the term "feminist." So hw did this word come to have such negative connotations? Like most things that are challenged, the previous, male-dominated power structure felt threatened. Change can be scary; and now women were demanding equal pay for equal work or the ability to make choices about their own bodies. Women were rightfully angry and did some very radical things (though no bras were burned, contrary to popular belief). It is much easier for people to put down feminism than admit that society must change its ways. Also, many people tended to (and still do) think that since the term "feminism" has "fem" in it, a feminist must be someone who wishes to raise women above men. But if you look to the actual definition of a feminist, it's simply about creating an even playing field for men and women. And you cannot forget the people or language used that encourages these negative connotations. The term feminazi (feminist + nazi) has been used to criticize feminists, purporting the stereotype that they have a Nazi-esque hatred for men as well as believing that women are superior to men. Therefore, a cycle of anti-feminist discourse is always playing.

Have you ever realised that a woman will often get paid less for doing exactly the same job as a man? We are strong, brave, independent women, and we deserve the same respect and rights that men have. So why don't we see it happening? This is what feminists believe, and this is what I believe. If you have a problem with that, don't complain to me.
by xX_nameless_seductress_Xx May 04, 2007
1805 694
 
1.
someone who believes the radical notion that women are people.
if you believe that women and men should have equal rights, you are a feminist. there's nothing "extreme" about it.
by laurie k February 08, 2005
48000 7767
 
2.
A feminist is a person who believes that men and women are equal (though not necessarily the same), and should be entitled to equal rights, equal treatment, and equal opportunity.
The attainment of women's rights to vote, own property, and become leaders in business and politics are feminist victories.
by R L F June 29, 2009
40629 4272
 
3.
A person who supports equality between the sexes. Feminists can be (and are) women, men, and transpeople. Feminists are black, white, and everything in between. Feminists are straight, gay, and bisexual. Feminists understand that inequality effects everyone.

Feminists ARE NOT Nazis, or women who can't get laid. The very existence of these views is proof that feminism still has a lot of work to do.

Some feminists shave, and some don't. Some are "fashionable", some aren't. Just like any other group of people.

Not all feminists are lesbians, though lesbians can be feminists. The ongoing Civil Rights movement and the push for gay marriage are often associated with feminism as each cause expresses a very sane desire to create world recognition of our intrinsic equality.
John: Lisa's a feminist? You mean a bitch, right?
Max: She just believes in equal rights, man. I'm a feminist, too.
by Katyakahlo August 10, 2009
40262 4330
 
4.
A feminist is a person, most likely a female herself, who fights for equality as women are seen as the weaker sex. A feminist is not a man-hater, which is what some people insist they are, though they are very 'pro-girl.' Feminism has been alive right through history, as females fought for their right to vote, work and receive equal pay. The world today would be very different if feminists never took action to change laws and empower themselves.
Kate Sheppard and Kathleen Hanna were both feminists.
by grrrlgerms December 27, 2009
39597 3818
 
5.
Anyone who can read between the lines of misogyny. And then, with grace and intelligence, acts appropriately to fight against it.
Man, have you checked out the myspace page of A Panterinha? She is fighting misogyny one blog at a time! Now she is what a feminist should look like.
by Leah Topplers October 06, 2009
39235 3716
 
6.
A straight male who doesnt express enthusasium towards chauvinistic remarks
Your buddy is such a FEMINIST , he doesnt show any interest when we go on with chauvinist jokes .
by Hef January 20, 2010
38924 3471
 
7.
A person who is feared and hence defamed and discredited by jocks, frat boys and men of inferior intelligence and/or sexual prowess.
Bob the III: Dude, did you see this chick at our frat party? Smokin hot, riiight?
Jim the IV: Yeah man, but she's a feminist... so let's be really, really clever and tell everyone that she's a dyke that never shaves!
by the only voice of reason January 17, 2010
38910 3708