Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the blog posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stereotypes: Feminism Misrepresented

A feminist is someone who supports feminism.  Feminism is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1:  the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2:  organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

Nowhere in the definition do we see the words radical, extremist, or militant yet being a feminist seems to carry a negative connotation.  Common stereotypes:
  • Feminist hate men
  • Feminist dislike women who chose to be stay home moms
  • Feminist are masculine and unattractive
  • Feminist are angry and bitter
  • Feminist hate religion
The most damaging myths about feminism is that it only liberates women at the expense of men, and all feminists are just out to emasculate the men in their society and take over the world.  

At Hnub Tshiab we believe that our families, our clans, our communities and society over all do better when women are allowed the same opportunities as men.  When we have equality for both genders our families prosper, the emotional health of our families improve, and the quality of our family bonds are strengthened.  The quest for equality is not only for women but also for men.  We know that men, sometimes, can be our best advocates.

I am certain that I am not alone when I say for many years I was afraid to self identify as a feminist.  I was terrified of how others would perceive me.  I struggled with how to be a good Hmong daughter/wife and a feminist.  The two images seemed to be polar opposites. 

Today I know that a good Hmong daughter/wife and feminist can coexist in the same being.  I do not have to choose to be one or the other.  In order to reap the benefits of what equality brings, we must all make a conscious decision to embrace all of the identities that make us who we are.  Let us together reshape the image of a feminist to what it truly is, that feminist are loving, caring, compassionate and spiritual beings that embrace and empower others to reach their full potential.


  1. Very well said! I do have to say that there are different types of feminists and it's always changing. It is important to know the history and the essence of feminism to begin with. I am still exploring and learning about this theory myself. Thank you for this blog!!!

  2. Nancy - I totally agree with you. I think like in religion, politics and everything else people have a passion for, there are degrees of feminism. Personally, I think it's those that are at the far ends that get all the attention. Those of us in the middle are the ones who get misrepresented. Just my opinion.