The Faults in Feminism The term “feminism” tends to have a negative connotation in today’s culture. Feminism is now focusing on female dominance and male disrespect. Women are fighting for equality, yet using personal bias to define equality, claiming identical rights for all will produce an equal culture. The mainstream feminist movement is using this corrupted view of equality to force rights of women. Contrary to popular belief, true feminism fights for true equality for women, as well as other people groups.
The focus will be on the conflict between feminist ideals, assumptions and demands behind what known as feminism. Feminism has evolved dramatically over time, which makes finding a widely accepted set of feminist ideas an impossible task. However, Webster’s dictionary (2007, p230) defines feminism as a theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Therefore, feminism is based around the idea of men and women being equal. On the other hand, feminist is also defined as ‘an organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests’ (Webster 2007, p.230).
Dicker describes the revolutionary movements that brought about the changes in the society in terms of gender equality and women's rights. Although Dicker reveals significant similarities between the types of struggles in the first and second waves of feminism in the United States, ultimately she demonstrates that the differences outweigh the similarities. In the first wave of feminism, Dicker depicts the struggle that the women are going through to attain women’s right to vote and equality. In the nineteenth century, women were prohibited from voting and feminist such as Susan Anthony got in trouble when then went to vote and were faced with charges. As evidenced in the quote from the book, ‘... women deserved to make their voices heard and, in so doing, create laws that would benefit and protect them,’ the right to vote not only women gave them a chance to make socio-political changes in the country that would empower them, but also gender equality (Dicker 54).
Annie Lennox said, “We all fight over what the label ‘feminism’ means but for me it’s about empowerment. It’s not about being more powerful than men – it’s about having equal rights with protection, support, justice. It’s about very basic things.” This quote summarizes the true meaning of feminism. It also addresses the goals of feminism; not to be more powerful than men, but to be equals. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, feminism is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” However, feminism is more than equality between genders.
Negative Aspects of the Feminist Perspective Equal opportunity, it's such a standard policy these days. It was originally associated with the feminist movement with the simple intent to establish a level playing field. The 'prima facia' of the phrase is idealistic, and at the least, the perpetual continuation of egalitarianism. Although these are both true, taking a look deeper into the contemporary application of the concept reveals anything but equality. As a woman, these so-called "feminists" appall me.
Other types of equality depend on feminism as well, including poverty, equal pay, LGBT rights, even rights for men. This movement empowers women, a previously marginalized and oppressed group, and allows them to slip out of the confines of their inequality and advocate for what they deserve: equal rights. Those who do not support feminist ideals are denying centuries of struggle for basic human rights and are exerting their privilege over the mistreated women of the world. As such, feminism is an integral part of women’s rights and paves the way to achieve several forms of equality. There is a systematic, subconscious bias against women, largely stemming from the inequality handed down to females through time.
"Feminist scholars also seek to question and transform androcentric [sic] systems of thought which position the male as the norm," says Barbara McManus. They strive to find, examine, and eliminate biases in a world encumbered with intolerant men who see women as thoughtless objects and most certainly not equals. Other women announce their impressive intellect, economic well-being, and individual personalities to the people who oppose them. "A woman should always present herself and explain her forthcoming jaunts into Feminists, like Edna, howe... ... middle of paper ... ...Barbara F. "Characteristics of a Feminist Approach." December 8, 2001. http://www.cnr.edu/home/bmcmanus/femcharacteristics.html.
Though, the argument of this paper is what is the reason behind the misrepresentation of feminism, and where did it come from? Author and columnist, Roxanne Gay brings this question into light in her article entitled "The Bad Feminist Manifesto". In her, essay, Gay responds to the notion that a feminist is a person that acts, and displays certain characteristics to promote the equality of the sexes. In her piece, she mentions "I got into my head that a feminist was a certain kind of women. I bought into grossly inaccurate myths about who feminists are – militant, perfect in their politics and person, man-hating, humourless".
So, what is feminism true meaning? Feminism reveals important aspects of feminism and women's perception of the quality and women’s ability to be equal to men and, even compete with them. Famous philosophers and feminists, Martha Nussbaum and Judith Butler suggest some feminist theories and explain the value of their theories. Referring to Nussbaum’s theory about Objectification, in our “free” and “democratic” world, women still lack security and equality. There are still a lot of issues that needed to be studied and resolved about social perception of women.
While women continue to be ranked as the weaker sex by popular opinion, feminists have bright hopes in a change towards their liberation. As Rebecca Solnit stated, “feminism has just started and it’s not stopping now. We are witnessing a full-fledged war, not of the sexes but of gender roles”(Solnit). Feminism and the right to equality has been a long and arduous struggle for women before the Civil Rights Act. The Feminine Mystique sparked a change, questioning society, which continues today as women fight for equal treatment regardless of laws that claim for their protection.