Don’t believe the lies you hear within the stereotypes of feminism. Feminism is not man-hating. Feminism is not about achieving dominance over men. Feminism is not about creating a matriarchy or woman-dominated society. These statements – and more – are reasons that people shy away from feminism.
Being a Humanist/Egalitarian/etc. is up to the discretion of the individual, but at the end of the day, those labels do not acknowledge the current societal climate – the patriarchy. They do not acknowledge that women, people of color, and impaired individuals do not fall in the default categories of society.
“But by dividing people into categories, feminism defeats its own purpose,” some may say.
Society already puts people into categories. Feminism takes these categories and works with them, acknowledging them and bringing them to the forefront of the conversation, for the goal of equality. Think back to your high school or college classes. Who were the majority of the writers, the scientists, the figures of history you studied? It was most likely white men – even though women participated in literature, science, and history just as much.
I’m not saying that humanists and egalitarians aren’t activists, but I have never heard someone of either description be as vocal about equality as a feminist. (But just because I have never heard of it does not mean that it does not happen.) In my opinion, as long as you stand for the equality of all genders, the label does not matter.
I like to say that Feminism is Humanism/Egalitarianism through a female lens; looking at the world with the female perspective and wanting to bring about change that benefits women in the way that society benefits men.