I'm just going to come right out and say it. I'm sorry.
I've written my share of angry feminist rants before. Not the "screw all the men, I'm a feminist" type tirade. More along the lines of "feminism means equality. We all know men and women are equal. Therefore, if you're not a feminist, you're an idiot."
"Idiot" applied to both men and women who renounced the feminist label. I still believe my line of thought makes sense, but I'm now thinking it was a bit harsh. Especially considering there are other factors to consider that I've previously ignored.
Put simply, feminism is:
"The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men."
I believe there are very few intelligent people in this part of the world who do not support the advocacy of women's equality to men. Even if they support it poorly due to old stereotypes and habits, most people know that equality is a good thing.
My old line of thinking was this - if you do not support feminism you either don't understand the meaning of the word, or, you really do believe that men and women should not be treated equally.
I'd now like to add a third option: you were put off the term due to a handful of women who call themselves feminists, yet behave a way that is not consistent with feminism.
So, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry about the women describing themselves as feminists, showing pictures of themselves with their middle fingers up, writing descriptions on their Instagram pages like "no makeup selfie, because I'm a feminist. Up yours!"
I'm sorry about the women who describe themselves as feminists and then blog nonsense like "How dare blokes approach me and try and strike up a conversation, or comment on the colour of my hair".
I'm sorry I called you an idiot. You may well be, but if the only reason you renounce feminism is because you don't like what faux-feminists have done to the word, I get it.
The F-word has now been forever tarnished by a small group of women hurling expletives towards men using the 'feminist' hashtag.
That isn't feminism.
That's called being a jerk.