5 Misconceptions About Non-Feminist Women

Are we non-feminists oppressed, misguided or just deluded?

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In a recent poll from Refinery29 and CBS News, 54 percent of young women in the US said they do not consider themselves proponents of the movement for gender equality, while 46 percent said they identified as feminists. If feminism is supposed to be a cause for women… why would more than half of us not identity as feminists? Have half of us just not caught up with the times yet?

Or maybe half of us are not being properly represented…

Feminists tend to be the loudest in their opinions among women (take the Women’s March for example), but the rest of us can often feel vastly misunderstood. So, before they try to convince us non-feminists that we’re still in the dark ages… maybe there needs to be more understanding about why we don’t find modern-day feminism appealing.

 

Misconception 1. We haven’t been “enlightened” yet.

Some feminists assume that the only reason why other women are not feminists, is because we’re “stuck” in traditional thinking, and our eyes have not been opened to the “empowering” views of female equality.

Actually… It’s not because we haven’t been enlightened by feminist views… it’s because we’ve heard them, and we reject them.

The reasons for us disagreeing can vary by person. For some, we see that many (but not all) feminists are extremely bitter towards men, who constantly punish them for being “animals”, “predators” and “toxic” to society (and we kinda like men, and have some good men in our lives, so we think these gals are exaggerating a bit). Many Christian women reject modern-day feminism because it’s pushing ideals that are completely out of line with the Bible and Christianity. Some women don’t like to be associated with feminism because they feel like it has become an extremely far-left movement… And me? I’m not a feminist for all of those reasons and more.

 

Misconception 2. We don’t believe we’re equal to men.

I feel like I shouldn’t need to explain this one… But unfortunately, I do.

I have never met a single anti-feminist who believes men are superior to women. I’m sure there are a small majority of women somewhere in our society who believe men are superior. But let’s face it, there are WAAAY more women who believe we are the superior gender. It is also more socially acceptable to call women “superior”.

Truth is, most non-feminists believe in some form of equality!

I believe in equality. I believe men and women are equally important. I believe Christian men and women are equal as inheritors of the Kingdom of God. And I believe both men and women should have rights.

The reason why I (and others) clash with feminism, is because men and women are not equally the same. Some of us are not caught up in the push to blur the line between genders. Not only do we recognize the clear biological distinctions between men and women, we believe that men and women were created for different purposes. Some of us even choose to embrace *gasp* traditional gender roles.

Of course, it would be silly to believe that men are not capable of doing domestic things at home, and women are not capable of running businesses and having careers.

But we believe that women were put on earth for different reasons than men. We don’t feel the need to compete with men and prove how we are equal, because we embrace how we are unique. This also allows us to appreciate men for their own uniqueness without being jealous (or thinking they’re “superior”). We respect men for who they are, and we respect ourselves for who we are.

 

Misconception 3. We don’t believe women should have rights.

Most anti-feminists are thankful that we have the liberty to attain higher educations, financial opportunities and the right to vote. And most would agree that women should have equal pay (if they are in the same positions, and putting in the same level and quality of work) as men.

We don’t believe women are supposed to be doormats, and dominated by all men (even if we believe in the biblical commandment of submitting to our husbands).

Then why are we not advocating for women’s rights? Because we already have legal rights. We are living in the 21st century where women have all equal opportunities and the same important legal rights that men do! This is why many of us kind of see modern-day feminism as a dead cause… What legal “womens’ rights” are they talking about? The right to go topless like men? Reproductive rights (AKA, abortion)? The right to free birth control?

These so-called legal “rights” are nothing like the rights of first-wave feminism in the 19th and early 20th century that focused on overturning legal obstacles to gender equality and advocating voting and property rights. And many of us believe these new causes to be immoral. 

However, there are a few feminists who are not advocates of these extreme so-called “rights.” And if they have no more legal battles to face, what are they fighting for? For social and cultural rights for women… we get it. There will always be women who will be raped, assaulted, or unfairly treated somewhere, even in our modern society.

Sure, there are plenty of women who need to be defended… but non-feminists recognize that women are not always the victims. Sometimes men are the victims. Sometimes men actually have it worse than women… Who’s fighting for them?

There are some feminists who claim that they fight for men’s rights equally, and maybe some of them do… But for us non-Feminists, it just wouldn’t make sense for us to post hashtags like #Believewomen, or to march for a cause exclusively for women, or to be associated with the word “Feminism”, which is a word for women.

Those things don’t sound like equality to us.

 

Misconception 4. It’s entirely because of how we were raised.

It is true that the way someone is raised may greatly influence their views on life and personal beliefs.  A woman may be more likely to accept traditional gender roles if this is what her Mother modeled for her, and likewise, many feminists may have had Mothers who were more career-oriented. We do owe a lot of credit to our parents for installing these principles into us.

However, we can still choose to reject or accept what we were taught. Sometimes women who were raised by more conservative stay-at-home Moms, grow up to become far-left feminists. Some women who were told by their parents that they should put off having children and chase their career, may still desire a more domestic lifestyle.

The reason why many women who were raised to embrace traditional gender roles may still accept them, is because they have evaluated these beliefs themselves, and they have seen the positive effects that this lifestyle has had on their own Mothers and families.

As a non-Feminist, this is true from my own personal experience. My Mother stayed home to raise us 5 children, because she felt that we needed her during our growing years. My Mother had other side careers going on, but she believed in putting us children first… This gave us comfort and security and highly benefited us in other ways, which is why I see her years of staying home and serving us as a gift and self-sacrifice. Because of her example, I  wanted to be that kind of Mother to my own children.. I also wanted to give them the best that I could offer and impact the world through my children. When I was little, growing up to be a stay-at-home wife and mother was my ultimate dream. Now I walk in that role, not because I feel pressured by my family, but because this is a desire for me and a calling on my life.

 

Misconception 5. We are “oppressed” by traditional gender roles:

Women who reject the idea that traditional female roles are oppressive, do so because they see those roles (such as placing family before a career) as an honor and more highly fulfilling than any career. It is society that teaches us these roles are “oppressive”. But this doctrine actually goes against our womanly instincts. Women inherently want to nurture something. If a woman says she never wants to have children, she will still usually “Mother” something (maybe a cat or a dog). And many Mothers who do have careers, are wishing instead that they could stay at home with their children.

Maybe to feminists we are “oppressed” if we serve our families, but many Mothers who get to stay at home and serve our families see it as an immense blessing. This is not to say we don’t have our own ambitions and passions, but we recognize what is truly precious in life.

It is true that there will be some women who will feel like they’re missing out when family gets in the way of their careers, but this is largely because society has taught that children are burdens instead of blessings. Non-feminists reject the idea that we are free when we serve our employers, but slaves if we serve our husbands and children.

After all… love, family and selflessness is really what life is about.

 

  • Meadow Hall

17 comments

  1. This was refreshing to read and I agree completely. I have five children with number six on the way. Being a stay at home mom is an immense blessing to me and what God has called me to do first and foremost. I do not feel oppressed or that I am being treated unequally at all. I embrace traditional gender roles but I have also owned my own business and my husband hasn’t helped me around the house. We are a team. I have also experienced working outside the home for a short season and it lacked that same fulfillment I received at home. Beautifully written article! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Just from observations, reading, and some research, I’ve learned the difference between concerns and rhetoric. One of my siblings, though intelligent and learned, believes in some things, though if you sit and discuss, cannot defend some positions, rather saying “Let’s stop talking.” For some reasons, people have passionate beliefs, though unchecked and emotion based. They don’t see things as they are. For myself, I’ve hoped to see things as they are. For instance, let’s take a look at the word equality. The founding fathers knew people were not “equal” in all respects, but were created equally in that we’re all human beings with the same human rights. But that doesn’t allow a clumsy person to play in the NFL. It doesn’t allow a person with two left feet to compete in the Olympics. No, you have to prove yourself. Now, this is different regarding work. All people can work and can have the same opportunities, proving their abilities to rise up company ladders. If a man or a woman are vying for a promotion, then the one more qualified should get the job, but that’s also the judgement of those running their company, and they may have personal reasons for one or the other. Perhaps, they simply like and get along with one more than the other, and companies like smoother operations.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. At the core of this post is a clear issue of generalizing–feminists believing that all women who choose to follow rather than lead or who choose traditional gender roles; anti-feminists believing all feminists buy into radical rhetoric and beliefs. It’s good to note that not all feminists hate men and that not all feminism is far-left. But the rest of the post seems to forget this acknowledgment. Perhaps a real dialogue is called for here, to alleviate some of the misunderstanding.

    For example, the one unifying belief of all feminists is that neither gender is better than the other. Branching from there, you can find a wide range of beliefs on many issues related to women, their roles, and their bodies. A common refrain in feminist discussions is, “You can’t tell someone else what their feminism looks like.” We all come from different backgrounds, they say, so it’s dangerous to generalize and to push your beliefs on others. So most feminists try not to do that.

    Similarly, not every Christian woman believes children must form the basis of her day. Some Christian women don’t even want children (nor do they have pets or a desire to nurture anything but their relationship with God). Some Christian men believe their role in the family is best served being the one who raises the children while his wife brings home a subsistence. More traditional Christians might judge these decisions poorly, but they shouldn’t tell other Christians what their faith looks like.

    We could all benefit spiritually from dispassionately observing others’ choices for themselves and not judging those choices or deriding them. Healthy debate and mutual respect even while disagreeing wholeheartedly with each other’s views should be our aim.

    The feminists I know would say that equality is good, even between two people who cannot biologically, psychologically, or intellectually be considered “equal.” Equality doesn’t mean treating women like men, but treating everyone with equal dignity, respect, and opportunity.

    When the author writes “I believe in equality,” it sounds a lot like the feminists I know, so I propose that our camps are not as far from one another as we might be led to believe by the loudest voices.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This comment is great!

      Many feminists love and respect that some women want to stay home. If that is Christ’s call on your life…who am I to question it?

      We just want to be supported in the fact that staying home with babies isn’t Christ’s call on some of our lives.

      Neither option is better or more admirable than the other. Both are good. Both are needed.

      Like

  4. Half of these stem from misconceptions about what feminism is…If you believe that women are equal to men, you actually are a feminist. You can totally be a stay-at-home mom and live out traditional gender roles in your own home, and be a feminist too. It’s an ideology, not a lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Feminism is largely misunderstood. There are lots of blanket statements here. If you believe women should have the right to vote, then you are a feminist according to the first wave.
    If you dont know any men who think they’re superior, I’m glad. Because I know plenty of patriarchal males, and could point you to a website of one who does into great detail about how men are superior in body, brain, etc.
    I appreciate men too, esp my husband who agrees that women are too often used and suppressed. I’m a conservative Christian, and think many modern feminists are only making the problem worse. But that doesn’t mean there is no problem.
    If you’re glad we’re not still living in the dark ages, thank a feminist! 🙂 I think we need to do our own thinking about equality before taking sides.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve noticed some women have either said that I don’t understand what true feminism is, or I am actually a true feminist myself because I support equality.

    To answer the first claim, I realize there are some feminists today who are more like the traditional first-wave feminists, and are not among the extremists-type feminists today. I think it’s great that these women do not support things like abortion, and still think women can be feminine and embrace traditional gender roles. However, just because not all feminists are extremists, doesn’t mean we should ignore what modern-feminism has turned into… Abortion is largely being pushed by feminism. Many feminists do believing in blurring the lines between genders (by not associating women with “femininity” and not associating men with “masculinity”, and discouraging gender roles, etc.). And many feminists are biased against men and discriminate against men. Feminism in Christianity, wrongly teaches women to rebel against God’s word by not embracing God’s instructions to wives and Mothers. Feminism even pushes the movement for women to go topless and and embrace immodesty (when this is not empowering for women at all, and does harm).

    Even if many of us non-feminists do agree with first-wave feminists and support equality, because we’re all equal and should have rights… we couldn’t possibly associate ourselves with the term “feminism” anymore because of what modern-day feminism has become.

    Secondly, I don’t believe in calling myself a “true feminist” just because I support equality for both genders. Even if by definition “Feminism” means “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes” in Webster’s, that doesn’t mean this is how feminism is mainly being represented. Feminism began as a movement to address issues of women’s suffrage. It did not begin as a cause for both men and women. Even the second line on Feminism in Webster’s says “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.”

    This is why many people associate “feminism” more with women’s rights, than men’s. And why many of us feel like feminism is more pro-women than being both pro-women and pro-men. For example, my husband considers himself to be a proponent of equality. He believes that both genders are equal in worth, and both genders should be treated with respect… Does this mean he would call himself a “Feminist”? He says “no”, just as many other men who believe in equality would. To many men, feminism is a cause for women, and it doesn’t allow them to have a voice. There are also ways that men are being oppressed in our society that too many feminists ignore.

    This is why many of us feel like “Feminism” is not a proper term for true equality between the sexes.”

    Like

  7. One thing I’ve disliked throughout my life was labels. People would tell me this is who I am and such. Then, if I shared a view or did something different, it seemed to affect them. I guess that’s human nature. So, someone asks if I’m a teacher because I’ve taught classes. I explained that’s what some people call me. I just run the class the best I can, like any other instructor.

    Liked by 1 person

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