Here’s What The Younger Generation Thinks Of Feminism

feminism

So lately we’ve seen a few adults, who happen to be celebs, display their clear inability to understand what feminism means and what it stands for. Shailene Woodley told Time magazine that she wouldn’t consider herself a feminist because she “likes men”. Keeping in mind the actual dictionary definition of feminism is simply the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

Pharrell Williams is another celeb who showed that he needs to start researching more about feminism, as he said in an interview that he “couldn’t be a feminist because he is a man”. Hmmm, so it seems there is a pattern emerging, where people STILL think feminism is about man-hating.

Cue: all the men in the world who happily declare they are feminists or speak up in favor of equality, because they actually know what the word and the movement is about. Joseph Gordon Levitt, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Alan Alda, and these brilliant guys just to name a few to whet your appetite.

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So if that’s what adults think, what about the younger generation? What are some of these millennials and baby boomers teaching them about the concept of feminism today? Scary thought huh! The Zooey Deschanel-owned site Hello Giggles decided to do a small research project and ask a bunch of young’ans how they defined the word.

Writer Emily Gordon surveyed girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 12 and here were some of the interesting responses clearly handed down by some adults with a disdain for the movement:

Boy, 8:

“Nothing should change. Because the circumstances of history belong to us. The strong men!”

Boy, 10:

“Feminism is when a girl thinks she’s better than you”

Boy, 11:

“It’s a federal offense.”

male-feminists

Two girls said they were unsure of what the word meant. But the majority of girls had a pretty accurate idea:

Girl, 10:

To me it means that like girls need better rights because it’s unfair to women that men seem to have more chances. Just because people think boys are stronger than girls doesn’t mean it’s true. That’s a bad stereotype.

Girl, 12:

“It means that guys and girls are the same and shouldn’t be treated differently because they’re guys and girls”

Hello Giggles concludes that awareness of feminism comes to consciousness around the age of 11. Yet from this small sample it is clear to us that there is a gender imbalance happening from a young age. If boys as young as 8 already think of women as lesser value in relation to them, we have a huge problem in the future.

We can’t just leave it up to girls to fight the good fight, it has to come from both sides, de-stigmatizing the world and validating the very notion of equality for all.

One of the people who commented in the HG article quoted something that ‘Buffy’ creator and outspoken and unashamed feminist Joss Whedon once said:

“Misogyny… is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who is confronted with it. Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself. I’ve always had a bent towards apocalyptic fiction, and I’m beginning to understand why. I look and I see the earth in flames. Her face was nothing but red.”

male-feminists

If adults today are conscious in teaching the next generation about equality, women’s rights, feminism and the injustices happening all around the world in the name of a certain gender, that is the only way we can begin to break the patriarchal mold that has for too long dominated society’s way of thinking.

Like Hillary Clinton said in her now-famous United Nations address in 2005, “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.” There is no reason why any sane, red-blooded man shouldn’t appreciate feminism and the presence of strong confidence, successful women in the world.

Thank you to Hello Giggles for presenting a thoughtful study. Although it was mostly meant as a humorous point of view, it shows a very real issue that cannot continue from generation to generation.

In light of this, we would like to reiterate the point using a recent trending hashtag on twitter after the Santa Barbara shootings: All Men Can!

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