A misandrist movement

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Molly Geisinger ’15

Even in 2015, one of the most prominent movements dating back to the mid 1800s has remained timeless: feminism. While the feminist movement has made great strides, especially in the last century, its status as a current, twenty-first century trend may be more hurtful than helpful.

Molly Geisinger '15
Molly Geisinger ’15

The early feminist movement aimed to earn equal pay in the workplace and to secure the right to vote. Most importantly, though, women hoped to earn respect in their limited and restrictive society. Now, because we are fortunate enough to vote and look up to strong women in the workplace, our definition of respect has changed.
Today, being a feminist is at the forefront of the media. Feminism has paved the way for female empowerment and headlined campaigns such as #LikeaGirl, #HeforShe and #banbossy at leading media outlets, agencies and magazines. However, with this increased media attention, it seems as if the movement’s original meaning is hidden beneath its popularity and status as the latest and greatest trend.
Feminism is no longer about advocating equal rights between women and men, but rather about becoming a feminist for the sake of joining in the hype. Unfortunately, the movement’s portrayal in the media overshadows its original goal. Instead of eradicating gender discrimination, feminism is now a contest about which gender is better. As a result, this commercialized version of feminism has attracted an ardent group of followers who may be joining for the wrong reasons.
Popular news and entertainment sites portray feminism as a competition against men, an argument with which many readers and viewers are quick to agree. For example, BuzzFeed, a social news and entertainment site that documents timely and recent trends, features an endless quantity of pro-women content. There are many articles that highlight leading women in today’s world, but most others take pride in proving how much better women are than men. And it’s not just BuzzFeed. Other websites, such popular blogs Gawker and Jezebel, fuel and feed on this misandrist extreme of feminism.
With such a noticeable increase in media coverage, it is inevitable that feminism’s identity would transform, whether for better or for worse. Unfortunately, but predictably, the media chose the latter. Now, feminism’s revamped definition takes away from the remarkable impacts women have made in the working world, a space which they have only recently claimed, and connects it to misandry for the sake of being relatable and profitable.
Feminism is worthy of the praise it has been given, but it is still important to remember its roots. Feminism means equality, not a zero-sum game between women and men. We should not be swayed by the urge to keep up with the latest craze if it means we will support something that we do not understand or believe in. It is about time that the movement lost its misandristic tendencies. Instead of joining in the latest obsession, we should know what we are fighting for first, and that is earning respect professionally, financially and socially.
– Molly Geisinger, Co-Features Editor