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What Is Feminism?
....for most of history, Anonymous, was a woman…— Virginia Woolf
What Do I Mean By Feminism?
When you hear the word, feminism do you flinch or go “here we go again?” Feminism is a dirty word. Feminism is a contentious word. Feminism to me still emotionally sings a military anti-men stance with females taking on the persona of a male chauvinist ego and presentation which is personally unnecessary from my perspective.
Someone has described feminism to not be the belief that one gender needs to be raised in power over another. The word feminism can also be mixed into the meaning or illustration of sexism. However, sexism is about patriarchy and patriarchy is a term used to describe a system of something or government where men hold the majority of power and women are largely excluded from it.
Brief History of Feminism
In 1957, Mary Scott founded the Influential Guardian Women’s Page that defined Feminism as a search for identity and a protest at being typecast by sex from birth to death.
In the late 1960’s, the word feminism took on political energy and grew into an international movement whereby by the mid 1970’s, there was a more middle of the road approach (uniting the two divisions of radicalism and socialism). Here, people began to realize that we need just needed a fresh new look at what politics of intimacy and the politics of sexuality was about.
It’s March 2017. Where do we stand now in relation to Feminism? Forbes magazine realized there are five basic groups of thoughts in our global population about why we struggle with the word feminism. These five groups of thoughts are: -
* one group of people believe there shouldn’t be equal rights and equal opportunities for men and women
* another group of people feel we have made a photo finish at our definition for equality for both men and women
* another group believe we still have along long way to go before we reach equality between the sexes. To get there, we have to take on advocacy positions and fight for equal rights.
* then, there is a group of people who have experienced first-hand discrimination because of their gender and subsequently feel they haven’t healed from those damaging experiences. Therefore, doubt, that gender equality has been reached.
* lastly, there is a group that believe we are still consciously and unconsciously detrimentally gender biased, still
…. females are passive recipients of charity….— Anonymous
From a Sociological Point of View....
If we take a look at feminism from a sociological point of view, some people who are Feminists are dismissive, critical, irrational and man-hating. Therefore people, including me, dislike the word feminism. Feminism, is seen as the destruction of a social system designed by men who are guided by their gendered experiences; world view; and designed to privilege their value and experiences at the expense of others. These men historically have been white, wealthy and heterosexual.
It is those in power that determine how society functions. Society is still based on these male interests, perspectives and experiences which tend toward unequal and unjust systems. Feminist social science is about reshaping these unjustified claims made by this ruling type of male class.
…if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor….— Aonoymous
What some females have said about Feminism….
1.One South Korean Woman described feminism as –“it conjures up an image of an unattractive woman who is antisocial and unlovable by men”
2.One woman in Portugal said-“feminism is seen as man-hating”
3.One woman from the U.S.A said – “feminism means women have equal wages, and females have control over their bodies like men”
4.One woman in Poland said-“feminism means to fight for equal and basic rights”
Do You Like Being Categorized?
If you are like me you don’t like being categorized or wearing labels. If you are like me you see yourself as a human being first and as a female second. Fortunately, or unfortunately being a female human being with individual rights, crosses over into the feminist side of matters. This then means if the latter still stands, that you have to be in agreeance with being associated with the sisterhood; and militant, anti-male lesbians who more often than not share the personal characteristics of dominance, control and bullying. No thank you very much. I do not like nor share those same sentiments or characteristics of being man-hating lesbian, who is domineering, controlling and bullying.
Power, Privilege and Oppression Intersect to....
American sociologist, Patricia Hill Collins presented the theory that power, privilege and oppression intersect and rely on one another in order to produce their affects. This happening was said to be an expression of intersectionality, and this is seen to be critical to the understanding and fighting of inequality. Sociologist Patricia Hill Collins concluded that feminism comprises the fight from the existence of classism, racism, global corporate colonialism, heterosexism and homophobia, xenophobia, religious intolerance together with sexism.
…. feminism isn’t about making women stronger. It is about changing the way the world perceives that strength…— G.D.Anderson
Feminism Is the Search for Having.....
For me, the word feminism is about the search and having your own identity irrelevant of your sexual organs. I am a human being first followed by being a human being with an intellect secondly. Followed thirdly being a human being with an open mind.
I recall my first introduction into the effects of the feminist movement was through our educational facilitators telling us girls we “could have it all”. What “having it all” meant to me at that time: -was having a feminist husband, my own professional career and money, three children, however many pets we wanted, a beautiful home with nice cars, regular overseas trips and doing a lot of home entertainment for our loved ones. This is what our group believed how our lives would turn out.
The contradictory situation at this time though, was still the female had to play coy, less intelligent than her man or not really voice her needs or opinions in the home otherwise you were unwanted. How confusing, right?
I always grew up with the expectation I would go to university which was alien in our family as were from hard working class stock. I chose Latin in my first year of secondary school in case I decided to do Medicine. At 14 years of age I wanted to become a Surgeon however I knew I had two things working against me. I had unsteady hands; and my style of learning was holistic and wouldn’t easily deal with the needed rote learning style combined with the huge amount facts to be memorized for Medicine. I knew if I pushed myself to study and with a lot of hard work and sacrifices, I could make it but I also knew I wanted to experience University in a social way as well. Becoming a Psychologist came next as I loved to understand, followed by being a language teacher or a Flight Attendant so I could travel the world and meet all the interesting people and their cultures. Yet, with the later, the career span was short and travelling away would interfere with my relationships and I didn’t want to endanger this side of my life as our family line have a history of broken marriages.
So, what did I choose? My marks chose it. I now needed to choose my career on my values rather than my interests. With having experienced confusing times with truth and deception from the surrounding adults in my life, I learnt to value truth. Truth was beautiful to me just as it was beautiful to the poet John Keats. Consequently, I chose to study science because science to me was the study of truth in life. Having a career and having a career that I loved was important to me. This experience could at that time brand me as a Feminist but all it represented to me was a person loving what they were doing and using their time constructively.
Feminism in a General Way Means.....
How else did I experience Feminism in a general way? I am a heterosexual female that has been in relationships with heterosexual males. (as far as I know) I have had LGBTQ friends, employers, work colleagues and relatives.
Now? I have met many working females, straight and gay that have shamed my female gender, as far as I go. I thought because you were of female gender you liked your other female friends and wanted them to do well. No. Not in my case. These females were largely experienced as untrustworthy, competitive, hostile, and military in their own way. I didn’t see any of their tender, nurturing attributes of their gender. Time and time again I was disappointed by these findings.
Currently, whether it is right or wrong, I have found with simplifying my everyday world I have become embarrassingly more conservative, which I am not too proud of. And I cannot believe I am going to say this but I now come from the perspective that if our internal anatomy is created to give seed or receive seed in this lifetime, then this is nature’s natural successful remedy for making our lives work the best at this time in history (in general).
I am of the mindset that because females are built with the natural anatomy to carry a child, she is, fortunately or unfortunately still the bottom line nurturer and caregiver of the child. To me, that means, she still needs to be emotionally sensitive to the needs of others, empathetic and nurturing whether it is in a physical, dietary, emotional or in a mindset way. However, this is not to stop her partner from supporting and rearing his child to becoming a well-rounded caring human being.
Nature still believes the male species needs to be a nurturer and devotee to his children. For instance, male seahorses will show their love and care by becoming pregnant and carrying their children. Daddy wolves regurgitate their food to their young. While the male Giant Water Bug carries his 100 eggs on his back, combing the eggs regularly to prevent fungal infection so they can be given the best start in life. Then, there is the Marsupial Frog that carries his babies in his brood pouch until they hop out as frogs. Therefore, if wanting a male partner to take on interactive compassionate role with my children makes me a Feminist, so be it.
Having Feminism thrust down my throat still, and it is 2017, seems farcical to me. Using highly inflamed words like “movement” and “revolution” to goad people take on an advocacy role in the resurgence of feminism, just because it is a sign of the times, is just unhelpful and rejecting in my opinion. Do I personally want to take on that role? No. I don’t want to be stirred up in a frenzy to become something I don’t want to be just because it is a sign of the times. No. For me, I just want to live my life fulfilling my own set of values.
Why Is that Word Feminism So Dirty?
Society Needs to Stop Burdening Females to Change....
Society needs to stop putting the burden and focus onto females to either change or to take charge. Males need to be worked upon to loosen their grip on power and ownership as well as their mothers making it okay for their sons to feel and be intimate in their life. The men can still steer the ship if they desire just as a female can still steer the ship if she desires. It’s about all of us refining and practising our negotiation skills and having the well needed resources to bargain with in life.
Why would you choose to become a feminist?
From a personal heterosexual’s point of view as a female and a humanist:
- You want the same rights offered to your male counterparts socially, economically and politically.
- If you want to keep your own name, irrespective of whether you are married or not
- To put a halt to our gender being objectified during personal sexual expression, via the media and advertising campaigns in order to raise commercial profits and men’s sole sexual gratification
- To have a right to how we use our bodies. E.g:stopping Female Genital Mutilation
- To stop being physically harmed or killed due to female infanticide in the Middle East and Afghanistan
- Justice for Women group changed the law to prevent that “nagging” was a justifiable reason to kill a female
- You stop others still thinking you are an inferior race and you need to be told what to do
Why You Wouldn’t Choose to be a Feminist?
- ·Your life is not about becoming an advocate and pushing your ideals or beliefs down other people’s throats
- You have to belong to a man hating group of dominatrix lesbians that forces you how to dress, think, act or speak
- You have to wear utilitarian clothing and let your body go
- You have to sleep around to prove you are a feminist
- You lose half the population as your friend.
If I am to be political about anything? I am political about intimacy and boundaries. Does that make me a Feminist? No. I am a human being first. I am a female second. Who are you?
Sources of Images: pixabay.com
Copyright © March 2017 Threekeys
© 2017 ThreeKeys