Monday, September 29, 2014

Thoughts on Feminism

Feminism is getting a lot of buzz lately, with many examples of violence and unequal treatment towards women flooding the airways. However, there are mixed ideas about what feminism is, who is a feminist and the ultimate goals surrounding the idea.

The answer is very simple. Feminism is an ideology that focuses on creating equal rights for women and feminine qualities. Traditionally, women have not had equal opportunities to many things (employment, voting, education), which caused feminist movements to develop. There have been significant and positive changes in women's rights, but there still strides to be made. Women are still paid less than men (for the same work) and experience violence on a much higher scale.  Because of factors such as these exist, the focus of feminist ideals is mostly on women. However, men are not excluded. Feminism seeks to defend men who are perceived as feminine from back lash that should not exist in the first place. Feminism tells us that it is okay for a man to express his feelings and he should not be afraid of being "less than a man". Feminism glorifies a man in his role as a father, instead of making him think that is a woman's job. Feminism does not come at the expense of men and NEVER seeks to put a man down simply for his chromosomal make up.

At the same time, feminism does not seek to control women, want them to dominate men, or force them into certain careers. If a woman wants to be a stay at home mother, that is great. Feminism wants to make sure that she has the resources to look after her children and that society does not devalue the hard work that she does.

Some people may have made you think otherwise in the past, but feminism is not a bad word. It is not just about women; it impacts men as well and won't be recognized without the help of men. Thankfully, we are seeing more attention being paid to this issue. From Emma Watson's speech for the He for She Campaign to Joseph Gordon Levitt's Re: Feminism video. However, it would be great to see these messages promoted beyond celebrities and national meetings.

Feminism needs to be an everyday word and practice. Gender equality is an essential step in improving the lives of all people. Remember, just because you do not personally feel that you face inequities does not mean that millions of people do not experiences them everyday.

Mentioned Links: 
He for She Campaign Website:  He For 

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