Feminists get a lot of crap. From jokes (how many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, feminists never change anything) to stereotypes like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde who argues that semesters should be renamed ovesters because semester sounds too much like semen. Who would want to be associated with that? For many people, if they found themselves at a dinner party next to a self-professed feminist, they might rather set the dining room curtains alight than sit through three courses of girl-power and excerpts from the Vagina Monologues.
However, there should no reason why anyone should disassociate themselves from the F-word. As with many groups, people tend to associate the extreme views of a few with an entire ideology, and take away from the central tenant. At its heart, feminism is not about burning bras or making men do all the housework. Do you believe women do not deserve violence, inadequate healthcare, inequality, neglect, bad diet, lack of attention to personal health and well-being? Then you are indeed a feminist.
The feminist movement still has much to achieve before it can say it is no longer needed. The media has recently been pointing a finger at India but gender inequality is a global problem which we continuously read about in the news. The more people the movement has behind it, the more likely it is that we can strive forwards to a world where prejudice does not get in the way of humanity, and where your dining room curtains survive a torching.