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When someone says the word feminism, what is the first word that comes to
mind? A masculine woman with armpit hair, no bra, a sign that says, women>men
or Take man out of woman!? How often does one think of a mother, a Latina
business woman, a black teacher, or a lesbian and her girlfriend? Society itself has
these misinterpretations and myths of what they believe a Feminist is. Many are
told that feminists are man hating middle class butchy white women that just want
to demean men and dont actually do anything. When feminists are actually women
of all races, classes, and sexualities, and have accomplished a lot in the last 50
In Still Needing the F Word by Anna Quindlen, Quindlen talked about how
many seem to believe that we are now in a post-feminist era where Feminism in no
longer needed because women and men are now equal, when in truth, women still
have a long way to go before we get there. Still today do feminists fight for their
words to be considered as equally as credible as a white males opinion. Quindlen
demonstrates this when Californians were able to ignore all allegations against
Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was accused of sexually harassing women in his
work force. Just by stating that these women were exaggerating in their plans to
incriminate him, many discredited the womens testimonies. Even if these
accusations werent true, women are seen as gossiping housewives that have
nothing else to do but complain about their standard of living. So, when a feminist
group comes out to complain about harassment in the work force, unequal pay, and
demeaning characterizations in the work force, many are quick to shoo away a
feminists plea. Little do they see that women are characterized as less capable
than men in a work force where they are given less equal opportunity than their
male collogues and coworkers.
Bell Hooks in feminist Politics defines feminism as a movement to end
sexism, sexists exploitation, and oppression. She states that feminism is not about
hating men, but rather implies that all sexist thinking from men, women, children,
and all adults is the true problem at hand. Hooks states that many people believe
feminists are anti-male because of the patriarchal media portraying women that
way. The patriarchy also states that feminists are also only materialistic and are
only looking for equal pay, and want men to share womens chores in the household
as well as parenting. The media also portrays feminists as women looking for the
freedom to have abortions, to be lesbians, to challenge rape and domestic
violence, (hooks). Many believe that feminists are fighting against men, when in
actuality, sexist thinking and behavior also comes from females as well. The sexist
male belief is not the only reason for the feminist movement anymore. Society
doesnt see that although feminists fight for this to be achieved, they also are
fighting for the belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, as
talked about by Quindlen. Because of what patriarchal media has said about
feminism, many are quick to judge and disregard a person who states they are a

feminist. Because of this, many women who support the feminist cause will shun
away from the title, just so that they arent judged by their friends, family,
coworkers, or society.
Without the patriarchal media, feminists would be able to actually speak their
mind to the public about the feminist movement. This would allow for any women
and men to join the movement without the biased views shown to them from the
media. It is just because of the media and white men that feminism has such a bad
name, and that many people who may actually support the cause may not know
that they do because the characterizations made about feminism is actually false,
and the true views are actually hidden behind a patriarchal society.