Something individuals rarely do, but it is of great importance…
Up for the challenge?
Try to understand a different perspective — look through the eyes of an anti-feminist.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is defined as “the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” However, some women don’t consider themselves feminists. In fact, there is a website called womenagainstfeminism.com dedicated to expressing anti-feminist views. According to a national survey by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation, six in ten women and one third of men consider themselves a feminist or strong feminist. About seven in ten people said they thought the movement was empowering.
However, four in ten Americans said the movement is angry and unfairly blames men for women’s challenges. A writer on womenagainstfeminism.com explains, “modern-day feminism has taken a different path that I cannot relate to.”
So here is the challenge — Let’s try to understand this perspective. Take a moment with me to look through the eyes of an anti-feminist.
SheShouldRun, a national organization that aims to expand the number of women in office, wants us to ask ourselves that question. Sofia Pereira, Community Manager for SheShouldRun, said Women already contribute to our communities in so many ways–whether you’re a scientist, a stay at home mom, a non-profit leader or an entrepreneur. Yet, out of the over half a million elected offices that exist in America, women make up less than a third.
By 2030, SheShouldRun aims to fulfill their goal of having 250 thousand women running for office. However, to accomplish that goal, as women we must be ambitious and act. This means we need to express our strength, determination, and passion to inspire women now and into the future. Inspiring others requires using our thoughts, ideas, and values to create a legacy of equal representation.
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 is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” The simplest definition of feminism is truly just the idea of equality. If that is what feminism is, why is it controversial? Why do so many people find the idea of feminism inherently discriminatory? There are two main reasons that seem to stand out.
Many assume that the 21st century is a time where women are not discriminated against. That feminism has already done its job and is no longer necessary. Many do not consider what women face in America to be sexism.
Others find no issue with feminism, but with “radical feminism.” They don’t agree with man-hating and violence. Some still mention the notorious bra-burning that characterized second wave feminism as a descriptor of “radical feminism.”
To address the first issue, it is important to consider the treatment of women across the globe, not just in the United States. There are women suffering from extreme discrimination in all walks of life. For example, the World Health Organization conducted a study about violence against women that concluded that around 15% of women in Japan and a staggering 71% of women in Ethiopia reported some sort of violence by an intimate partner. They also found that worldwide, almost one third of women who have been in a relationship experienced either physical or sexual violence by their intimate partner. Women around the globe residing in countries such as India, Africa, Pakistan, and even some Eastern European Countries also experience discrimination in the form of honor killings, acid attacks, child marriage and forced prostitution. In 155 countries, it is still legal to discriminate based on sex, according to a recent World Bank survey. Within the US, violence such as mutilation and honor killings are less common, but women experience discrimination in many other ways. Women still are subjected to harassment, rape and pay discrimination.
I am a kind feminist. Yeah, this means I think of myself as a kind person who cares. It also means I think we should all practice kindness in all aspects of our lives.
We don’t have to be mean or attack others to achieve our own goals. The word fight is often used when we are talking about equal rights and feminist issues but we can still fight with kindness. To me, feminism is not bringing others down who disagree with you but being inclusive and accepting everyone for who they are. It is about equal rights for everyone and this will not be accomplished if we keep bringing each other down and attacking those who disagree with us.
Let’s talk about politics. No, not the name calling, whining, Democrats vs Republicans type of politics, but the nature of all political debates. The issues that we consider “politics” and how we fight over them not based on whether we think they are morally right or wrong but based on whether there is an “R” or a “D” next to the issue.
We treat these things like a game with winners and losers. But politics is more than a game, it is people’s lives. The “losers” in these situations will deal with more than their hurt pride, the laws and decisions made in politics change lives for better and for worse, this is something that should be taken seriously, not played with like a game.
I have never liked being told how to dress. Growing up with conservative parents, my parents always told me what I could and couldn’t wear as soon as I hit puberty. When I was little, no one really cared how I dressed, but as soon as I “blossomed,” the way I dressed mattered to everyone. My teachers, my friends, my parents, random people on the street. All of a sudden I wasn’t really dressing for myself anymore, but for everyone in the world around me. Instead of just wearing what I wanted and what I felt good in, I wore what my parents allowed me to wear and what everyone else expected me to wear.
Growing up, and now as well, I was always close to my older brother who is less than a year older than me. Because of that, and the way my home life was, I think I developed a lot of “manly” mannerisms. I’ve never been much of a girly girl in my life, despite the fact that I liked playing with Barbies and make-up; I’ve always been more interested in what the boys liked to do. I generally have closer friendships with men than I do woman (until I started living in my sorority) because I just seemed to get along better with them and enjoyed doing “boy” things. This tendency that I have to lean more towards the masculine side of my personality trickled into my fashion sense as well. While I read Vogue and Allure and tons of fashion magazines, and keep up with a majority of fashion trends, I still look at men’s fashion with a higher level of appreciation. Continue reading “Fashionista: White T-Shirts and Combat Boots”→