It is not unusual to encounter a woman who will say "I'm a feminist" or "I believe in feminism" even when she then declares that she:
♦ believes equality is a good thing to aim for;
♦ disagrees with 'extremist' feminists;
♦ thinks men get a hard deal in some areas;
♦ wants to be a mother and perhaps even be given the choice to be a housewife;
♦ actually likes men.
As people trying to get a fair deal for men and stop society's increasing misandrist leanings, we should not alienate such women. I will show here that mostly they are not feminists and they need to understand that there is a greater divide between ordinary women and feminists than there is between ordinary women and non-misogynistic men.
I believe the pool of women that could be on the side of the anti-misandrist is far greater than the total number of women and men who are misandrist.
So, why do so many women think they are feminist?
For a start, they are female. The root word to female, feminine, and feminist is the Latin fēmella. They all have the same kind of sound. They are all connected. If one thinks of oneself as female then by default one associates feminine with oneself. If one thinks of oneself as female then by default one associates feminist with oneself.
Most of us were taught in school that "the suffragettes" achieved equal voting rights for women. As an overall impression, most people hold that the suffragettes are (pretty much) synonymous with the feminist movement and that the suffragettes got women the vote. So therefore, from a gut reaction, to be against feminism is to be against equal voting rights for women and all other forms of equality.
Lastly, there is the simple belief that feminism has done some good for women. There are now equal pay laws; there's maternity pay; there is recognition of and support for battered women; and so much more. How can any woman turn her back on that? To reject feminism, it seems, is to want to turn the clock back and not have those advantages. Women would be daft not to want to keep the legal protection. Most women (by no means all) would think themselves daft not to want to keep the improvements she perceives for her gender.
Most women, on the sidelines of the feminist agenda, will hold onto feminism rather than reject the advantages they think it has brought to women.
And who can blame them, until they realise the damage it does?
Let's take a look at some of the common misconceptions that keep women believing they are feminists
Suffrage and feminism
As historical evidence confirms, the suffragettes were about suffrage, not about feminism nor equality. That is to say, the main campaign thrust was to get suffrage (voting rights) at a time when few people had it.
In the UK, there was a greater public swell at the time to increase the household-based voting to include more households (gender was not an issue). In order to keep the more well-off households with the greater political influence that they were used to, there was a personal suffrage movement that those households paying more for the government should have a greater say in it .. by having a vote each for both the man and the woman in the household. (It almost worked but the household restrictions on women were much less than most suffragette activators campaigned for.) The differences in gender treatment in the UK 1918 Act was intended to achieve equality but of a different definition. It was to make the number of female voters roughly equal to the number of male voters (under a household-based voting system this effectively had been the historic case) but in fact only 40% of the vote was women's. From 1928, the number of eligible female voters in Britain has outstripped the eligible male voters. At the time, the voting age was 21, so hardly anyone is alive now who was affected by conditions prior to 1928 (they need to be well over 100 years old).
In 1879, broadly universal suffrage was attained for men and in 1893, suffrage was equalised between male and female. Some races were still excluded.
[New Zealand is often erroneously stated as being the first country where females had the vote. It was the first self-governing country in modern times, whose parliamentary system still exists, where women and men were specifically granted equal voting rights. Other countries, including the United Kingdom, had women voting before this time but not specifically on an equal basis with men. The Corsican Republic, no longer existing, gave men and women universal suffrage in 1755 and Franceville, also no longer existing, gave suffrage to both genders in 1889. Non-self governing countries such as Pitcaim Island (1838) and the Isle of Man (1881) also preceded