Feminist Myths

As a club at IUP, Women’s and Gender Studies holds a table semesterly where we debunk Feminist Myths. We try to keep it light-hearted and give people a place to ask questions about things that they might not necessarily know about.

We offer a true and false game to let participants guess whether or not specific things are upheld beliefs in the Feminist Community. The trick of the game is to let participants find out more about Feminism so that it doesn’t seem like such a scary concept like most people who are against feminism make it out to be. So, here are a couple of Feminist Myths and why they are, in fact, myths and not true.

First, the Wage Gap was eradicated by the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and women and men are now paid the same.

The wage gap is not merely just about getting paid the same amount for minimum wage jobs. It is about job opportunities and starting salaries offered to people. The wage gap is a bias against working mothers and women of color. Out of 50 states, 7, yes SEVEN, are considered states with “STRONG EQUAL PAY PROTECTIONS.”

Yes, 49 states do include Discrimination Provision; requiring that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. This is enforced when taken to court. Most times, unfortunately, this isn’t taken to court, because people don’t realize that they’re being paid less than their male counterparts.

The State of Alabama actually has ZERO equal pay protections in place and 17 other states have severely weak protections. There are several occupations where women are earning significantly less than they would with equal pay. For example, female physicians and surgeons are typically paid $19 billion less annually.

Second, Feminists hate all men.

Feminists do not hate men.

A relevant issue; however, is Hegemonic Masculinity. Hegemonic Masculinity can be defined as “behaviors and language associated with the idealized male group that is seen as having the most power and status in society.” America is a Patriarchal culture. This means that we run under the rules, laws, and traditions of men. Yes, this was the way that the world was when the United States was formed.

Yes, we do have founding fathers, but we also lit rooms using candles when that happened. Many many things have become updated since 1776, for example, slavery has been abolished, women gained the right to vote, we have gone to space. Still, the percentage of women in Congress is at 23%. I am extremely grateful that the state of women in the US is better than before, but there are many things that you, as a straight, white man will never understand. Feminists want equality and equity, not dominance and hegemony.

Last, you can’t be a feminist if you’re a man.

You never need to be a certain gender or fit into a box to be an Ally (read more about how to be an Ally here). You also don’t have to say she’s someone’s mom or sister, or cousin, etc. to need to sympathize with survivors of sexual assault. Recognize that women make up half of this world, yet they are constantly being discounted because a biological factor that is out of our control.

Feminism is about equality for all marginalized groups. As a feminist,  you can fight for LGBTQ+ groups, P. O. C, the class system, just remember that it affects women and see how you can make small changes in your life to recognize that.

Education is always the easiest and best way to get involved, do not be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know something.

Helpful Links:

 Myths About Feminism

The Simple Truth About the Gender Wage Gap

Ecofeminism; Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last

Like I addressed in my previous post about Decolonization, a patriarchal practice that happens too often is the domination of the land. Hierarchical systems make us believe that we are for some reason entitled to land and regardless of what the earth does for us, they take and take away from nature and leave no way to fix it. Again, future generations are left to clean up the mess that is left once companies are done tearing away the Earth for their benefit.

Ecofeminism is about the devastation of the Earth and her beings. Most of the Earth’s demise has been done by big corporations who use unethical ways to mass produce products that emit fossil fuels and take away from our well being. The first people that are affected by these issues are women and children and the laborers who work for big companies are often underpaid and mistreated.

While we can’t reverse the effects of what these corporations have done to the Earth completely, we can begin to make a change. Change never happens from the top down, it always goes from the bottom up. One way we can do this is with Smart Consumerism, or voting with your dollar. Fast Fashion is cheap, trendy clothing that samples ideas from celebrities and popular culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed.

These products have a very short turnaround time between when a trend or garment is seen on the catwalk and when it hits the shelves due to the offshore manufacturing where labor is the cheapest, with the use of workers on low wages without adequate rights or safety. And stores continue to get more customers because of the limited quantity of a particular garment. With new stock arriving in store every few days, shoppers know if they don’t buy something they like they’ll probably miss their chance.

This theory is problematic. Cheap, low-quality materials cause clothes to degrade after just a few wears and get thrown away. This also leads to body shaming and fashion shaming issues where people don’t feel like they can fit in unless they have the latest trends. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter of clean water globally (after agriculture).

The use of cheap, toxic textile dyes and fabrics like polyester, which is derived from fossil fuels and shed microfibers, contribute to more pollution in our oceans. Unfortunately, natural fabrics are just as bad; cotton takes up water and pesticides in developing countries, 300 kgs of chemicals are used for every 900 kg of animal hides to be tanned. In Spring 2017,  235 million pieces of clothing were sent to landfills just in the UK.


You can quit fast fashion, fortunately. Small steps can be implemented in our daily lives to stop relying on fast fashion.

  • Ask yourself whether you would have worn it three years ago or would wear it in three years
  • Pack your winter clothes away in the summer and vice versa (fall in love with your clothes again)
  • Choose Eco-friendly products
    • Organic Cotton: doesn’t contain harmful chemicals and costs more so the farmers who are producing these are being paid more (Bhumi, Kowtow, Ecodownunder)
    • Linen: Most biodegradable fabric and durable (Conscious Clothing)
    • Denim: Producing one pair of Levi jeans takes 3781 gallons of water, 11% of global pesticides, harmful chemicals, and dyes, and sandblasting

It is important to remember that just because you do buy from these companies, you are not devalued or do not care about the Earth. Capitalism is systemic. Recognizing that you are a part of a system and that system is corrupt is a great way to start being conscious of the mediums around us and seeing how they influence you.

Vote with your dollar when you see this. Buy local and buy from companies that you feel have a platform that aligns with your ideas.

Important Links:

Women and Life on Earth

Film about the true cost of manufacturing fast fashion:






Eco-Friendly Shopping:










Decolonization; Undoing Colonialism

If you’ve studied history, you have probably read about Colonization, which is the practice of large, powerful countries invading smaller countries and taking social and economic power over them. Most famously, the British colonies in America colonizing indigenous tribes’ homes and ruining their lives. Colonization is not about exploration, it is about domination, and it started much earlier than American history.

Imperialism is defined as expanding a country’s power and influence with military force. In school, this act isn’t described nearly as forcefully and is phrased as 🌈globalization🌈 which is essentially the same concept. Colonization is a homicidal expedition. For example, the Black Plague, which killed 25 million people or half of Europe’s population, was brought over by exploration and trade from Asian countries. We are still seeing the negative effects of colonization with the spread of Western Beauty standards. Colonial ideology erases cultural practices.

Decolonization is the process of leaving these states and undoing the domination that one nation holds over another and while superficially, it seems to be the best option for the country, it still has detrimental effects. Decolonization causes instability of political and economic systems which are the basic structures of any society. The ethnocentrism that Colonizers have takes away basic human rights and leaves natives of that land to try to pick up the pieces.

Other Sources:

The Effects of Decolonization in Africa

Women, Gender, and Colonialism

Colonialism and Domination