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Define Feminism Essay

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Define Feminism


"A woman should be barefoot, pregnant and chained to a stove," stated Ben Glantz, a high school senior. Drew Pershing, another senior, also shared a joke, "What does a woman do after she leaves a battered shelter? The dishes...if she knows what's good for her!" Daily jokes and comments such as these, no matter how harmless, are detrimental to the status of women and a dangerous undermining of their accomplishments. Shared by both genders, sexually discriminative comments are widely accepted in society as normal and harmless. "I didn't mean anything by that; I was just kidding," whimpered Ben Glantz after receiving several cold stares from young women who overheard his bashing, sexist comment.

Women have become more aware of their current respected, "take serious" status within the past twenty years. Some are satisfied with where women stand in relation to society, while others say the road to equality has not yet been finished. When people were asked to fill out a questionnaire on feminism, young women were eager to participate while most of the young men took a little coaxing.

Ignorance in both sexes contributes to the problem of misinterpretation of feminism and the "woman's place" in society. When twenty-four students, parents and teachers were asked what feminism was, answers ranged form a fight, a stand, a belief, a want, a definition, and a movement for women empowerment, equality and human rights. The definition of feminism found in The American Heritage Dictionary states feminism is "a doctrine that advocates or demands for women the same rights granted men, as in political and economic status." "Since this definition will vary from being militantly pro-female to simple ...


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...isters. TV Guide, 45, 18-23.

McDonnell, Evelyn. (1993, August 7). Women rockers create their own alternatives. Billboard. 105, 1-2.

Palmer, Laura. (1997, November 27). Lee vows to fight for her vindication. The Gazette, pp. E1, E3.

Pollitt, Katha. (1997, November). Feminism's unfinished business. The Atlantic Monthly, 160-164.

Thigpen, D.E., & McLaughlin, L. (1997, July 21). Galapalooza!: Lilith Fair -- a traveling festival featuring female folk-pop stars -- is rocking the music world. TIME, 60- 64.

Tumulty, Karen (1997, October 20). Turning fifty. TIME, 32-42.

Wells, Diana (Ed.). (1994) Getting there: The movement toward gender equality. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers/Richard Gallen.

Wolf, Naomi. (1993). Fire with fire: The new female power and how it will change the 21st century. Canada: Random House Publishing, Inc.


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