By Beatrice Santiago
Feminism? What is the significance or meaning of that word?
When searching different sites, I found many definitions.
- “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.”
- “Feminism used to be about women getting the same rights as men, such as the right to vote and equal pay at work. Now feminism is a movement full of women who seem to think that their ability to push a baby out of their v***** titles them to bigger and better everything.”
- “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests”
- “A feminist is someone who supports equal rights for women. If your brother objects strongly to women being paid less than men for doing the same job, he’s probably a feminist.”
A word that holds a lot of controversy. Wow. No wonder many people can either be in favor or against feminism based on these definitions. When I asked myself, “How do I define feminism?” I tried to find the right response that makes sense to me. I put a lot of thought into it and here is my response. A while back I saw a picture on Facebook about fairness. Link here…
Equity vs. Equality!
There is a huge difference. For example, Equality is about everyone being fair and being treated fairly. While Equity is about equipping people with the same resources to have the same shot at something. If everyone were treated the same (for example, in this picture boy number three would not be able to see the game. While in the second picture, boy number two and three were given the resources to be able to see the game like the first boy.) Applying it to Feminism, it’s not about being treated better it’s being giving the same resources to be able to succeed in life, workforce, education. When women do succeed it’s not celebrated. Most treat it as if it were not possible.
I asked a few of my friends what their definitions of feminism are. These were their responses:
“I define Feminism as equal pay in the workforce, no matter the gender.”
“Much more than women getting paid equal it’s also about bringing up everything that is wrong with society. Talking about issues that people feel uncomfortable talking about and taking a broader aspect.”
“Having equality and equity between all genders. Not just men having power but respecting and realizing that women can too.”
“Feminism is asking for equity in human rights. Nothing more. Men can be allies to the movement, so in a way, men can be Feminists.”
“Feminism is women being able to make decisions over issues that affect women and be treated socially equal to men.”
“Feminism means to me using my voice to ask or fight for equality in the workplace and to bring awareness to the capabilities and strengths of females. It is to empower other women that are striving to make a difference in the world or trying to take advantage of opportunities that better their quality of life.”
Everyone has a different take on feminism. I most definitely agree that it is not about women to somehow take power over men or get treated special because we have the ability to give birth to another life! No! I struggle a lot with finding a good way to describe what feminism is! But I can tell you what feminism is not! It is not about being better than everyone else. It is not about conforming to what society says we must be. I feel sorry for all those that think women were just made to have kids and be a mother. Because, many of us have other plans in mind. It is beautiful to be able to bring another life into this world, and I plan on being able to, but not when it’s the decision of someone else. Feminism, for me, means to keep battling Patriarchy. I won’t be part of the system where I was raised to learn how to “cook” because I won’t find a man. My life does not revolve on making a man happy. It does not matter the race. But wait–women are not the only ones who can be feminists. Men can also be feminists. Everyone can.
Addressing the issues of all women and not just white women. Women face a lot of issues, but there are different issues depending on your ethnicity and gender. For example: immigrant women, low-class women, asexual women. The list goes on and on. This video explains intersectional feminism way better, but basically, it talks about how everyone has their privileges, and feminism should be practiced through a “broader, more inclusive lens.” Feminism is about fighting for what is right to all human beings and to empower women who have been oppressed because of these stereotypical beliefs people seem to constantly want to throw at us.
What is your definition of Feminism?