In any situation or any movement, change is nearly impossible without there being a clear understanding of the desired goal. It seems a bit absurd to imagine, for example, there being a petition concerning an environmental issue that didn’t address how and why the issue was negatively impacting the environment. If one is advocating to slow climate change, it would be assumed that there would be a solidified, comprehensive definition of “climate change” before moving forward. So, when it comes to a topic as relevant and pressing as feminism, the fact that there lacks a universally accepted meaning of the word is incredibly problematic, and causes unnecessary dissent that hinders social progress. In order for an activist group to effectively tackle the concern at hand, it is necessary to produce an inclusive definition of feminism. In light of this concern, I will argue that feminism should be considered “a movement to end sexist oppression,” (hooks 31) that recognizes and embraces the multitude of individual identities one can identify with and that are not limited to gender, but that are also simultaneously influenced by factors such as class and race.
Although feminism is in its essence a statement for gender equality, it is critical to expand beyond the basic argument that women should have the same rights as men. Many view feminism from a binary lens, assuming that social inequalities can be solved by addressing only the accepted genders of “man” and “woman.” In doing so, non-binary genders are excluded. Although the notion of one’s gender being somewhere on a spectrum rather than fitting neatly into a standardized box may appear to be common se...
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...t it cannot only be a house for the oppressed; rather, for change to happen, feminism must be an all-inclusive politically focused vessel that aims to change the whole of society (hooks 28). In doing so, individuals have the ability to express their unique identities while pushing for social, political, and economic equality through a movement which is not attached to a specific lifestyle.
Debating the meaning of a specific word may be seen as trivial, but when it pertains to a concept as widespread and crucial as feminism, it is imperative to arrive at a universally applicable denotation. By defining feminism as a movement rather than a lifestyle that aims to stop sexist oppression, and that advocates for individual identities without being partial toward a single group of people, immediate and positive changes can be had in the progression toward human equality.
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