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Feminist Myths. Part 2 - Society
Feminist Myths. Part 2 - Society

Video: Feminist Myths. Part 2 - Society

Video: Feminist Myths. Part 2 - Society
Video: Sexual assault myths: Part 1 | FACTUAL FEMINIST 2023, March

Feminism is a phenomenon that almost everyone has heard about, but few people clearly understand what its essence is. By the number of philistine "horror stories", this movement, perhaps, occupies a leading place among social movements. We continue to dispel myths about feminism: how to figure out where is the truth and where is the lie?

Myth 3. "The feminists of the past have already fulfilled their task, now there is no need to fight for anything"

The supporters of this myth demonstrate a certain “condescension” towards women who fought for their electoral and property rights at the beginning of the last century, but their today's followers are treated with all severity: they say, you already have everything, equality of men and women is spelled out in the Constitution - why are you itching to do now?

Let's be fair: more often than not, this opinion is formed not out of malice, but because of an extremely weak acquaintance with the modern fem agenda - but ignorance is hardly justifying the devaluation of the problems that thousands of women face every day.

See also: Myths about feminism. Part 1

Among the global problems that contemporary feminists claim and are struggling with are, first of all, domestic and sexual violence, unequal access to professional development and gender wage gap, reproductive coercion and unpaid reproductive labor for women.

Thus, according to WHO statistics, 1 from 33 to 50% of women murder victims died at the hands of people they knew well: husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. According to the same statistics, the proportion of men who died at the hands of relatives is several times lower and is only 6%. Moreover, among women serving a sentence under the article “murder”, 80% committed it, defending themselves against violence from a murdered person - most often a husband or a partner 2.

Systemic violence against women can take other forms: the practice of female genital mutilation continues in Russia to this day, 3 thousands of adolescent girls are forced into early marriage and early motherhood, 4 etc. Despite the fact that according to the laws In the Russian Federation, sex with a child under the age of 16 is classified as a crime; men, often 10-15 years older than their unofficial wives, are not subject to either persecution or even widespread public condemnation.

It is possible to list the problems associated with discrimination against women for a long time: these are “glass ceilings” in a career, and the officially recognized 30 percent difference in wages for men and women, 5 and the lack of sane financial, psychological and social support for mothers with young children., and unconstitutional, but in no way punishable by sex restrictions on admission to military and departmental educational institutions 6, and much more. In short, it would be a lie to say that the problems that modern feminists are struggling with are far-fetched and do not exist in reality.

Myth 4. "Feminists are talking, not real problem solving."

This myth was probably born because people often confuse goals and means of achieving them and often do not see the connection between specific actions and the results obtained. Meanwhile, feminists are right now engaged in a wide variety of activities to protect victims of violence, revise discriminatory laws, change public discourse regarding “traditional” gender roles, etc.

Many of these types of work really resemble "chatter": if only because in a rule of law, conversation is the only acceptable option for solving most problems. Feminist lawyers speak in courts, defending the rights of victims of violence.

Lawyers talk at meetings, seeking the State Duma to consider the law on domestic violence. Activists talk at rallies dedicated to women: for example, at the “angry mothers 'march” in defense of victims of political persecution or at the “sisters' march” demanding an end to the criminal prosecution of the defending victims of domestic violence.

Bloggers on social networks and journalists in the media talk, creating a public outcry and drawing attention to women's problems, which were not customary to talk about for many years. Feminists also write books, organize campaigns, do research, open shelters, participate in charity work - and all this, as a rule, is in parallel with their main work and caring for children and the elderly.

Is there any sense in this activity? Thanks to the efforts of the feminist community in Russia, the list of professions prohibited for women has been revised and reduced 7, a precedent has been created for acquittal of a woman who defended herself from her attacking husband 8, the Consortium of Women's Non-Governmental Organizations 9 is actively working, a draft law on the prevention of domestic violence has been prepared, 10 and others. the speed of positive changes is far from being as high as we would like, but, given the pressure to overcome in this struggle, these results are already significant, and foreign experience leaves hope for the continuation of the movement for the better.

Myth 5. "Feminism is right and wrong"

This myth is from a series of that half-truths that are born according to the principle “I hear the ringing, but I don’t know where it is”. Feminism is a social movement, and like all such movements, it does not have a single "party line" common to all adherents.

Sociologists identify several areas of feminism, differing in their goals and the means used. The most famous of them are radical feminism, which is based on the belief that discrimination against women's rights is embedded in the system of existing power relations, and calls for a change in patriarchal foundations for egalitarian relationships, and liberal feminism, whose supporters believe that positive results can be obtained through changes in individual spheres of social relations without cardinal upheavals in public life. In addition to these areas, there is also intersectional feminism, eco-feminism, cultural feminism, separatist feminism 11 - moreover, one and the same woman can have beliefs that correspond to several branches of feminism.

See also: Myths about feminism. Part 1

However, the complexity of the internal structure of the fem movement is often used as an argument for dividing feminists into “good” and “bad”. At the same time, the portrait of the "correct" feminist is determined exclusively by the current preferences of the author of the statement: she must respect men or, on the contrary, refuse any forms of contact with them, engage exclusively in activism, or, conversely, not "stick out" her beliefs, etc.

If a particular woman does not fit into the Procrustean bed of these demands, she is immediately addressed: "What kind of feminist you are if … (substitute the necessary)." Sometimes this division takes a different form: "No, well, there are normal feminists who … (again, it is necessary to substitute), and those who are not like that are just some kind of crazy."

Fortunately, belonging to the movement is determined not by the assessments of the sofa "experts", but by the inner self-awareness and beliefs of its followers. All people are different - which means that people with different characters and different personal histories come to feminism. Instead of seeing these differences as a reason for separation, it is much more productive to use them for mutual exchange of experience and joint achievement of common goals.

The essence of feminism is very well described by a quote from the English journalist Mary Shire: "Feminism is the radical idea that a woman is a person."

And also - this is the idea of sisterhood, the mutual assistance of women and the dream of a world where we will be appreciated not for conformity to imposed gender roles, but for real abilities and perfect deeds.


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  2. Starinchikova A., Kirgizova A., Boyko D. and others. Family circumstances. From whom were women and men convicted of murder in excess of the limits of self-defense defended // Materials of the II Hackathon on Data Journalism "Discriminaton: Big Data about Little People". URL: (date accessed: 30.08.2019).
  3. Antonova Yu. A., Sirazhudinova SV Practices of mutilation in the republics of the North Caucasus: strategies to overcome. [B. M.]: Publishing solutions, 2018. URL: (date of access: 30.08.
  4. Five seventeen-year-old Russian women gave birth to their fifth child last year // RIA Novosti. 2019-15-08. URL: (date accessed: 30.08.2019).
  5. Krakova S., Kalachikhina Y., Petrova E. The revolution did not happen: why women are paid less // 01.03.2019. URL: (date accessed: 30.08.2019).
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  7. Safiullina A. What is women's business? Who needs a revision of the list of "forbidden" professions and why // 2019-29-07. URL: (date accessed: 30.08.2019).
  8. Solovyova E. The victim should not do anything. The Court of Appeal acquitted the woman who killed her husband in self-defense // Novaya Gazeta. No. 63. 18.06.2018. URL: (date accessed: 30.08.2019).
  9. Consortium of Women's Non-Governmental Associations: official site. URL: (date accessed: 30.08.2019).
  10. Borisova E. Behind the shield: what will change the emergence of the law against family violence // 04.08.2019. URL: (date accessed: 30.08.2019).
  11. Savina A. From Suffragettes to Radfems: Key Directions of Feminism // Wonderzine. 2016-18-04. URL: (date accessed: 30.08.2019).

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