What is Feminism

Discussion
Nov 25, 2015
by: Lynnea
Keywords
Channels

A movement to bring about equality. A movement to create opportunities for the underprivileged. A movement for creating a safer, more equal world. A movement to advocate for women’s rights in political, social, and economic equality to men. This is feminism.
While there are different types of feminism, each one is an attempt to make a difference for women and improve their lives. Feminists advocate for aiding women's’ health all around the world. First world feminism is more about liberating women to embrace their voice in society and freedom of sexuality. Third world feminism helps women in underdeveloped countries escape the rage of war where they and their families are subject to rape, female genital mutilation, and death. Cruelties such as these will take a long time to solve but if the fighting can stop, then improvements can be made for women in the economy, education, and politics. Although third world problems are scarier and more difficult to deal with, that does not negate the fact that first world feminism is still necessary. Sexism is a huge issue. Catcalling is a real problem that many women face everyday. Those who try to defend catcallers ask why the girl just could not take a compliment. They act as if commenting on a stranger’s appearance in an overtly sexual way would be an appropriate, reasonable thing to do. Bonnie Tsui relays her story of a college professor being a bit too friendly and eventually making inappropriate comments to her in the article, “The Undress Code”. A decade after she was out of school she came back to receive an award and met this man again. He had seen her husband and and should have realized that ten years later she had moved on but he emailed her saying “I seem to recall seeing you in Harvard Square in a pretty much transparent top… one day noticing you standing at the Xerox machine on the second floor here wearing a short plaid kilt and thinking that’s about the sexiest sight I have ever seen… anywhere” (Tsui para. 8-9). This interaction was entirely inappropriate. The way a person dresses does not invite or give anyone the right to treat them inappropriately. Unfortunately, stories such as this one are not uncommon. Feminism stands up for women who face sexism every day, be it catcalling or unfair treatment in the workplace. Feminism wants to give women a voice to be able to say that the way they have been treated as a sexual object is absolutely not alright. Feminism demands respect for women and in such an advanced world that we live, this should not be a radical idea.
Many times, feminism in today’s society is looked down upon as irrational and hateful towards men. Feminists often get a bad reputation as demanding or entitled. The reason for this is much like with any other group. Extremists that say radical ideas start to capture the attention of the public and cause outrage. Misandry is the irrational hatred of men and often is confused with feminism but these ideas are not related. Feminists want to create a world where men and women are truly equal while misandrists just want women to be the dominating gender. Since half the world’s population consists of women, I can hardly see how the advancement of a much oppressed group could be a bad thing.
Some people think that in America today, feminism is not necessary because of how far we have come as a culture since the time when women could not even vote. Even though our society has come a long way, there is still a long road ahead of us since there is still a significant wage gap and everyday sexism. The wage gap is a figure representing the fact that women make twenty-one percent less money than men for equivalent work (Hill para. 3). An article, “Pay Equity & Discrimination”, highlights the fact that we, as a society, still perceive jobs to be gendered. Jobs such as a teacher, cook, or nurse are supposed to be for women while science, technology, or construction jobs are supposed to men’s work. Feminism advocates for the fact that women are just as able to perform well in science, technology, and construction jobs as men and that men can also be great teachers, cooks, or nurses.
While feminism is focused on helping women, it reaches out to many more people. Feminism helps the families and groups that women are a part of as well as the women themselves. Helping to give women all over the world a chance for a better, more equal life is a great cause. Today, there is no reason not to be a feminist.

Comments

Hi Lynnea! I strongly agree

Submitted by weisse16 on Mon, 2015-11-30 14:57.

Hi Lynnea!

I strongly agree with every statement in this essay. Women are not created equal and that is shown at an early age. I feel that dress codes in school help widen the inequality between men and women. It allows people to say "You're not allowed to wear that because it is too inappropriate", it makes women more objectified and easy to be harassed.

As you stated in your last paragraph, feminism benefits everyone. Everyone should be a feminist, or at least all women should be. They should want equality between the genders.

Overall, I really enjoyed your opinion and I love the syntax you used.

Hi Lynnea! I strongly agree

Submitted by weisse16 on Mon, 2015-11-30 14:57.

Hi Lynnea!

I strongly agree with every statement in this essay. Women are not created equal and that is shown at an early age. I feel that dress codes in school help widen the inequality between men and women. It allows people to say "You're not allowed to wear that because it is too inappropriate", it makes women more objectified and easy to be harassed.

As you stated in your last paragraph, feminism benefits everyone. Everyone should be a feminist, or at least all women should be. They should want equality between the genders.

Overall, I really enjoyed your opinion and I love the syntax you used.

Hi Lynnea! I agree with the

Submitted by Kelsey on Mon, 2015-11-30 19:09.

Hi Lynnea!
I agree with the fact that everyone should have equal opportunity and privileges in society. No demographic should be treated worse than another by anyone. That said, however, perfect equality can never be achieved because we do not live in a perfect world. That does not mean we can't strive for perfection but it does mean we should accept that sometimes there is nothing more that can be done. In third world countries, as of right now, this does not apply. There is much that can be achieved such as fighting against female genital mutilation and rape as you mentioned in your essay. In first world countries, there is still some work to be done as well such as the cat calling and over sexualization you mentioned as well. I do wonder, though, if we should be focusing on things like dress code which is put in place for a reason rather than focusing on more important issues like the objectification of women in “typical male” jobs like the military and the sciences and maths. Rape occurs often in military positions and it’s something that is not really addressed and is often kept under wraps and denied so the military’s reputation is not weakened in any way. Women often are not taken seriously in science and math sectors as well when in jobs such as engineering and research. I find that many feminists focus on issues such as the dress code and abstract ideas such as “the patriarchy.” Obviously, there is such a thing as the patriarchy and it has been in place for centuries but I think the problem many people have with feminists is the fact that many say they are angry about what is going on in the world but don’t offer up any solutions for it and many focus on seemingly small issues like the dress code and use blanket terms like the patriarchy. I feel as if the dress code should be one of those issues that we push aside for now and accept that it is never going to be perfect and there are always going to be people who disagree with it while we focus on more important issues for now. Something that we can fix, should fix, and almost everyone can agree is wrong is rape specifically in the military and other high-risk professions/regions. I really like your essay, though, and your examples and descriptive language! Nice job! :D

Hi Lynnea, I really enjoyed

Rachel D's picture
Submitted by Rachel D on Tue, 2015-12-01 09:11.

Hi Lynnea,
I really enjoyed reading your post. I would like to know a little more, or have some more back ground information for the one article you brought up. I agree with you that while feminism may need more extreame attention in some other countries, America's work is not over. Just to let you know, Okemos has a feminist club that meets every other Tuesday. I think that it is crazy that the wage gap is still 21%, wow! What bothers me the most is that men fall into the role of dominance and not woman. Thank you for writing about this topic!

Hi Lynnea, I really enjoyed

Rachel D's picture
Submitted by Rachel D on Tue, 2015-12-01 09:12.

Hi Lynnea,
I really enjoyed reading your post. I would like to know a little more, or have some more back ground information for the one article you brought up. I agree with you that while feminism may need more extreame attention in some other countries, America's work is not over. Just to let you know, Okemos has a feminist club that meets every other Tuesday. I think that it is crazy that the wage gap is still 21%, wow! What bothers me the most is that men fall into the role of dominance and not woman. Thank you for writing about this topic!

Overall, well done.

lovebugleen's picture
Submitted by lovebugleen on Mon, 2015-12-14 13:04.

Hi, Lynnea! I really enjoyed getting to see your perspective on a topic of feminism. The flow of your writing is lyrical and you seem like an informed writer. One thing I had a question on was were you defining feminism in this essay or arguing for it?