Where Feminism Went Wrong
What is Feminism?
Feminism is for establishing the equality of the sexes. Feminism includes the right of speech, the right to vote in an election, to work and get fair wages. Feminism also involves various campaigns done to prevent harassment and domestic violence.
Charles Fourier, a French philosopher, is credited with coining the word “feminisme” in 1837. Feminism came into popularity during the 19th century. Feminist movements fall under three waves. The first wave consisted of women's suffrage movements of the nineteenth century. The second wave consisted of women’s liberation movements. The third wave started in 1990. It covers the issues and shortcomings of the first two waves.
Is There Equality Now?
To understand feminism, we need to first identify the cause. Since the dawn of time men have dominated and oppressed women. Women were considered to be inferior to men. Thus, a lot of privileges were made exclusively to men. It was a dark age with a lot of questionable practices and the women suffered.
Thanks to a lot of effort put in by many activists the situation has changed now. There is widespread awareness about the need for equality among the sexes. Feminist movements have helped women get back on their feet on equal footing with men. Women now can fight for their rights and should be provided the same treatment as their male counterparts.
Women enjoy equal rights in many places. However, even today, some women are not treated fairly. The number of instances of oppression has gone down. However, there are still people out there who do not treat women with respect.
Where it Goes Wrong:
We do know that there is still some areas of improvement when it comes to women welfare. There are always radical extremists who stir up trouble. They end up making life worse for everyone. These people spoil the reputation of millions of others. Such people would make women feel insecure and in turn breed hatred.
We still live among people who do not give proper respect to women. Women are still not given equal opportunities everywhere. However, this is not an excuse to bring up the issue of feminism at every opportunity. This creates a negative impact and dilutes the problem itself.
Feminism Done Wrong:
A recent issue which has been all over the news is the incident that happened at the 2018 US Open Women’s singles finals between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. During the match, Osaka was dominating the court. She was on the verge of winning her first grand slam title. During the second set, the chair umpire Ramos gave Williams an official warning for a coaching violation.
Replays of the incident showed Serena's coach, Patrick signaling her to move forward and nodding. Patrick after the match admitted to having coached Serena but did not believe that she noticed him. Serena, however, did not like the warning and told Ramos that she doesn’t cheat and she would never cheat to win. Serena continued her tantrum and abused Ramos for supposedly being unfair to her.
Then as Osaka broke Serena’s serve in the second set, she then smashed her racquet in frustration. Ramos gave Serena a second violation, this time for racquet abuse. The second violation made Serena even more agitated and called Ramos as a thief for stealing her point. She also demanded that he apologize to her.
Ramos then gave Serena her third violation for verbal abuse awarding Osaka the next game. Osaka ended up winning the match 6-2, 6-4 and won her first grand slam title. The crowd's shameful reaction was the last nail in the coffin. They constantly kept booing during the awards ceremony ruining the perfect day for Osaka. Osaka ended up apologizing to the crowd for having won saying, “I know everyone was cheering for her and I'm sorry it had to end like this.”
Serena Williams did not apologize for her behavior even after the match. She went on to say that Ramos was being sexist and discriminated her for being a woman. Serena was never discriminated because of her sex. Ramos had a reputation of giving violations even against men. Patrick was also well aware that coaching during the game is a code violation. His excuse for the incident, “everybody does it.”
The reason people think that feminism is getting out of hand is due to incidents like this. A highly respected role model like Serena should not have acted the way she did and tried to bury her faults in the name of feminism. The fact that many people support Serena in her actions only brings more shame.
Men’s Day at the University of York:
One more unique incident that I could find was the celebration of International Men’s day at the University of York in 2015. The University wanted to address issues like high male suicide rates, men’s shorter life expectancy and struggles in getting a good education. So they organized the celebration of the International Men's day.
However, the event was canceled by a petition signed by students, staff, and alumni of the University. The reason given for the cancellation was, “men’s rights are not important.” We need to recognize the issues and rights of men as well. Equality needs to work both ways. Both men and women should have an open mind and respect each other for this to work.
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