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Illustration Courtesy of Jam Moreno

Debunking Misconceptions About Feminism

Feminism is plagued by numerous msiconceptions. We need to leave those behind to begin properly addressing the injustices preventing women from flourishing in our societies.

Dec 12, 2021

When you reflect on feminism, do you think of empowerment, drive, strength and social justice? Or do you think of a pessimistic load of nonsense?
Regardless of what’s associated with the movement, feminism does not attempt to aggressively enforce the supremacy of women over men. It simply stands up for basic human decency: justice for all genders. Contrary to the overwhelming misconceptions that I have come across, being a feminist isn’t snapping and being repulsed at the existence and success of men. Instead it’s thinking and acting in a manner that does not belittle an individual over their gender. Feminism is a movement that advocates for obtaining economic, political and social justice for men and women. Through my personal encounters, I’ve noticed that when bringing up the importance of feminism, the initial reaction I observe from a large portion of people is instant repulsion. They usually mention a very specific aspect of a certain strand of feminist thought which they don’t agree with to argue against the movement as a whole, without fully comprehending the basic structure of feminist ideology.
To many, the lack of engagement with social injustice is what instigates the futility of the feminist movement. However, what such mindsets fail to realize is that the absence of the issues that are addressed by feminism in their own personal encounters does not at all signify the absence of these issues within society. In the context of the UAE, we exist in a day and age where an extensive portion of authorities comply, legislatively, with the notion of feminism by providing equal jurisdictive fairness to both men and women. But such protection does not always translate into a more empowering society for women. If we looked at education in particular, academic opportunities are equally available to men and women in the UAE. However, some families still prioritize higher standards of education for their sons when compared to their daughters, backed up solely by the difference in gender. This is motivated by the belief that their daughters would not utilize an education as efficiently as they give into their “inevitable fate” of having to give up any professional career to start a family.
While we have come a long way from preventing women leaving their houses or fulfilling or having a fulfilling career, it is important to address the fact that feminist thought remains absent from a large share of mentalities.
A great deal of informal societal laws act as impositions towards the experiences of women. For instance, the concept of reputation, holds extremely high value within my personal context, wherein individuals are pressured to maintain the “correct” reputation in society. A substantially heavier weight is placed on the shoulders of women to maintain their good reputation and their actions are perceived with an enormously multiplied critical lens. The lens of interpreting people’s actions should not be perceived through the basis of gender and currently stands as a very significant issue in need of rectification.
In order to thoroughly establish a feminist society, we need to reframe our perception to comprehend social injustices and shift our ideology in a direction that defies these misconceptions. If feminism remains a pointless notion or an attempt to enforce a gender-based superiority complex in your mind, I would like to ask you to take a step back and objectively comprehend feminism for what it truly is: a logical, moral call to establish justice for all genders.
Noor Aldabal is a Staff Writer. Email her at
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