My research for feminism started after I read Candice Owen’s book, Blackout, where she stated that the feminism movement was emasculating to men. It wasn’t about equality but instead of lying on men. She mentioned the #MeToo movement and also the #BelieveAllWomen and gave examples of women who had lied about being sexually assaulted. This is the third time I had heard about a woman being against feminism, which I found odd, to be honest. If you look up the definition of feminism, it says,
- the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.
Why would a woman not be for the equality of the sexes? But the thing is that not everyone understands the definition of feminism because of how people have taken it out of its original concept.
The first time I had heard about a woman against feminism was while I was listening to a podcast. She had mentioned that feminism creates damage to society by emasculating them. And we have to be careful about these “positive” messages sent out for women’s empowerment. She spoke from a Biblical perspective and explained how God created men and women differently and for different roles. She doesn’t want to do what men do and that our roles are different for a reason.
As a believer myself, I completely understood where she was coming from, but I believe that women should have equal opportunities in housing, occupation, salaries, and society. Back in the day, women couldn’t even get a credit card without their husband’s approval.
So why is it that some people view feminism so badly? From my research, I came across an article on Forbes.com that showed a few reasons. It talked about how many people view equality differently. What one woman may see as equality I another woman may not. Many people believe we’ve already reached equality for both sexes. Yes, women can work, but we know that we still aren’t paid the same as men. Others believe that feminism is empowering women while de-powering men or that women are superior to men, but really neither sex is better than the other. I found it interesting that some people fear that feminism will overturn traditions, religious beliefs, and established gender roles.
Let’s discuss a little history of feminism, there have actually been four waves.
The First Wave
The first wave was during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The goal at the time was to open opportunities for women, with a focus on suffrage. During this time was the environment of urban industrialism and liberal, socialist politics movements.
The Second Wave
The second wave was in the 1960s, which continued into the 90s. During this time, the environment was anti-war and civil rights. Sexuality and reproductive rights were the focus.
They wanted to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to guarantee social equality no matter the sex. The second wave’s timing was also during the time of other social movements like Black Power and the end of the Vietnam War, which was viewed as a less pressing issue.
The Third Wave
The third waves bring us to the mid-90s. This wave was nothing like the ones before due to the young feminists of the very lipstick, high-heels, and cleavage proudly exposed. Women during this time didn’t really identify as “feminists.” The focus was the body, gender, sexuality, and heteronormativity.
The Fourth Wave
The fourth wave of feminism, you can say, is right now. The following issues are receiving national attention, which was not before: sexual abuse, rape, violence against women, unequal pay, slut-shaming, the pressure on women to conform to a single and unrealistic body-type, and the realization that gains in female representation in politics and business. Sexual assault and rape have always been an issue, but the subject wasn’t discussed before, not until the #metoo and #timesup movement became public.
It wasn’t until the great depression that women began to enter the workplace because many men lost their jobs. Women took lower-paying jobs like housework, teaching, and secretarial roles. These jobs were deemed “women’s work.” It wasn’t until World War II that women found jobs previously reserved for men while men fought in the war. Then equal pay became women’s fights.
During the third wave, it was clear the feminist movement was not for everyone; it was only beneficial to white, college-educated women. The other issues facing women of color were not addressed.
This brings me to book “White Feminism” By Koa Beck. I found this book in the Library and decided to check it out to further my research on feminism. This book was released this year. It talks about how the movement of feminism excluded women of color; the movement mostly benefited white women, which makes sense because the struggle of women of color is not the same struggle of white women. What I got from the book that white women are willing to fight for their struggles but not get involved in other women’s struggles or struggles that don’t really apply to them.
I Asked My Followers Questions on Feminism
I asked my followers on Instagram how they defined feminism and do they agree with today’s movement. And here were some responses:
“Women and men deserve equal access to employment, compensation, etc.”
“proud” so I followed up asking, “proud to be women?” They said, “yes, and to fight to be equal”
“I define feminism as rejecting patriarchy systems and structures set in place to reduce women to nothing. Likely, I see feminism as the ability to advocate and empower women to stand their ground when it comes to beliefs, body, existence.”
“Complicated. We’d have to define which Feminist movement because I think even within the Feminist movements there are divisions. There are feminist that are considered, “Militant Feminist” because the extremist beliefs. I wouldn’t consider myself extremist, but I do believe in the equal access of employment, compensation, and healthcare. It’s full political, social, and economic equality for women, which would bring it to everyone in the world because men already have privileges.”
“As usual society took a movement with good intentions and bastardized it by taking the principles and twisting it for their own agenda. For example, to be a feminist now you have to be pro-abortion. That’s not what the original feminists intended. They intended for us to be treated equally in the eyes of the law. To be able to vote, own property, receive equal pay. These days it has turned into a culture and that’s always dangerous.”
“What I don’t like is that this movement is being highjacked because weren’t not all in agreement of what empowerment looks like. Some believe women can just do any and everything and no one should hold them accountable.”
My Take on Feminism
I agree that women should have the same opportunities as men when it comes to housing, jobs, salaries, etc. But it seems like that movement has been far removed from the original stands. Do I call myself a feminist? If someone asks me with the actual definition of feminism, then I can say yes, but if it’s anything else, then no. Men and Women are equal in the sense that no sex is above the other. Although we are made differently and wired differently for different roles, we both should still have the same opportunities in society. That is my view on feminism. I’ll continue to educate myself on the matter, and I love hearing other people’s points of view on different topics, so I would love to keep this conversation going. How do you view feminism? Do you consider yourself a feminist? I love would love to know your thoughts, so let’s connect!
P.S. Men can be feminist too – as long as they believe in the equal rights of the sexes 😉
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