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A constant insult to those who call themselves a feminist has often been “feminazi.” Some people, seem to believe these are the same things and that if you are a feminist, you must obviously be a feminazi.
The belief of a feminist is equality. That is why even if you are a man, you can be a feminist. Everyone who believes in equality must be a feminist. That is the plain definition. The word (feminisme) originated in 1836 from French socialist Charles Fourier, who used it to describe the emancipation of women in a utopian society (Weiss). It was first used in English in 1852, but not in the way we use it now because over the years it has evolved. In 1914 there was confusion over what the term meant, just as there is today, but The New York Times got it mostly right when they said it was a “revolt against artificial barriers which laws and customs interpose between women and human freedom” (Catt). As referenced in the picture above from Northpoint Center of Learning, a feminist is trying to liberate herself and others of gender roles and male domination over certain careers and titles (such as president or police chief for example).
To make it simple, the only reason we call it “feminism” and not “trying to achieve equality” is because women face a lot of inequality as is and they needed a term that best represents this. If they just tried to achieve equality that usually corresponds with racial equality first, not gender equality, so they had their own term to avoid the confusion and allow people to focus on gender equality. The reason there isn’t as much reason for “meninism” is because men are generally higher up on the social ladder and don’t face things such as the wage gap. But because feminists are trying to achieve equality, that makes us able to advocate for lgbtq+ rights and rights for people of color as well (these are sometimes known as intersectional feminists). A feminist should always fight for equality of everyone, but many people only focus on women rather than equality for all. That is what divides them from being an intersectional feminist and your regular everyday feminist.
A feminazi does exist, however. These are people who believe women are better than men or should be considered better than men. They believe women deserve more pay and to have more power than men. These people cannot be considered feminists however, because they aren’t trying to achieve equality, they advocate for women to be superior. As referenced in the picture above, she believes she is better than men and deserves better than them.
She does have the goals of closing the wage gap; however, she attempts to make the wage gap in her favor by it being disproportional again this time towards men. She wants to have higher status like feminists, but it isn't equal status. She wants gender roles changed but not abolished. Instead she wants to assume the gender roles that men have (AKA being in charge and powerful).
This confusion is an issue because those of us who believe in equality cannot spread out beliefs and such without this insult. Before you call someone a feminazi, it’s important to listen to what they are saying because it is one: insulting, and two: just plain wrong. The term feminism is supposed to provide hope and empower women to be themselves and liberate them from gender roles while fighting things like the wage gap. The term Feminazi was created to insult feminists and can also be used to describe those who, I can only assume, want payback for the injustices that exist.