Feminist does not equal Feminazi

Jaime Coyne

Are people aware that ‘feminist’ and ‘feminazi’ are not synonymous? For some reason, being a feminist seems to have gotten a bad rap. People say, ‘oh, she’s such a feminist.’ Did you mean feminazi? Because a feminist is simply someone (male or female, contrary to popular belief) who believes women should have equal rights. Please tell me, in this day and age, that we are all feminists. If you still want your woman to stay at home, taking care of your children and making your dinner, and are angered by any resistance on her part, you just might not be a feminist. If you don’t think a woman is as capable as a man to be a leader, this might not be the group for you. But being a feminist does not make someone a feminazi.

Feminazi is actually a derogatory term used against some feminists. In this connotation, a feminazi is someone who believes women should have all the power, with better positions and salaries than men. Women should take over and rule the world. Essentially, it is the Spice Girls’ ‘girl power’ gone awry. The fact that such people exist shows that feminism can be taken too far. Like in any other movement, fervency and greed can take the righteous idea of working towards equality and twist it towards a goal of giving one group preference over others, simply switching the inequality around.

But scoffing when someone steps in and points out that something is sexist only sets feminism back. Why does striving for fairness automatically make a person an overzealous man-hater? It will be a long time, if ever, before we reach a state when men and women are truly equal. But where is this apparent evil in trying to reach that goal?

I still remember watching Saved by the Bell as a kid, and thinking it was unfair that Jessie was treated as an annoyance, a ticking bomb just waiting for someone to say something sexist so she could explode. Granted, the character of Jessie was the stereotypical loudly vocal feminist who could not let one politically incorrect statement pass without interruption. But why did they even need to have such a character in the show? Why is it such a negative thing to have a voice, and speak up for what you believe to be right?

Perhaps people look down on feminism, and feel the need to call it feminazism, because they do not want to admit that gender roles are still a problem in our society. Undoubtedly there are still some individuals who do not want women to have equal rights, and dispute feminism for this reason. But being a feminist means fighting for equality, and that is an effort that should never be disparaged or demeaned. So before you remark that someone is a feminazi, maybe you should consider that you are contributing to setting women back decades through their struggle, and stop to think if the person you are mocking is in fact a hardcore spokesperson for the first female world dictator, or merely someone braver than you are, trying to do the right thing.