Here’s to another wonderful and happy Monday! I would like to take a moment to give a huge shoutout of thanks to all my Prosers, new followers and everyone who helped me to receive my first 1,000 views in a 24 hour period! I am truly amazed, humbled and full of gratitude that last week’s post, “How to Repair Irrevocable Relationships,” resonated so well with everyone. Please be sure to continue to like, share and post your comments to keep the dialogue flowing.
In honor of International Women’s Day, I would like to discuss one particular aspect of feminism and the reasons I feel it deserves to be redefined. More specifically, I believe as with everything else, there is a need for continuity and specificity – today’s feminist movement includes too many extremes and these extremes hurt our cause as a whole.
Feminism at a very basic level, is the idea that men and women are entitled to equal rights and equal opportunities. However, one troubling perception of the feminist movement is that it fails to align with the overall principles of equality. The problem arises when too many varying beliefs and values exist in regards to feminism that ultimately hinder solidarity. Equality is too often misconstrued as sameness; when equality is actually the freedom of choice. At it’s most radical, feminism is defined as being entirely independent of a man and working to eradicate the male dominance by replacing it with a female dominance. I have been guilty of a very skewed view of feminism and have even promoted the inaccurate representation of the feminist movement. But knowledge is power!
I believe part of the feminist movement identifies too closely with an Amazonian, Wonder Woman way of life – Girl Power, Who Run’s the World…Girls, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with empowering women; however it becomes wrong when it is at the expense of someone else – whether it be male or female. We as a society have yet to learn that equality cannot be mastered by envoking separation. How do we expect men to embrace equality when we as females, remain so divided on what that equality actually entails? It is my opinion that we cannot make any progress by unreasonably making demands that ultimately make little sense in the grand scheme of our society. Again, I am guilty of holding my female counterparts to the unreasonable standards of a man – I ignorantly felt that if a woman wanted to be seen as equal, then she should demonstrate the equivalence of men in every aspect of her life. How foolish are we…or I should say how foolish was ME!
Now please understand, I am not advocating that we eliminate the feminist movement. We absolutely need equality of the sexes, we simply need to better define equality and consistently apply that definition. If feminism is often equated with hating men, then the wrong messages are being relayed.
Frankly, if your agenda includes negatively stereotyping a group of people and attacking them, then your goal isn’t equality, because bigotry isn’t part of the peace process (thank you to my super intelligent son for helping to point this out to me). Hate can only beget hate. If that’s your strategy, you’re already on the wrong track and destined for failure. (The Wise Sloth)
Here is how I would love to see the feminist movement progress and evolve:
- RADIATE THE SAME VALUES – Women make up half of the world’s community. Our duty is to step up and ensure that we help to build better communities for our future generations.
- END MISCONCEPTIONS – The point of feminism is not to discriminate, put men out of power or discourage men. Nor is it to prove that women are the same as men, and this should not be an expectation. Feminism is not a movement to discourage men. Feminism is not a movement plotting to put all men out of power. Feminism is not a movement to promote women superiority. Feminism is for everyone (Susan Sacirbey). I have personally witnessed countless women expressing that they do not “need” feminism because they are not “man-haters” or not a “lesbian” – the biggest misconceptions of feminism!
- HOW WE SHOULD DEFINE FEMINISM – Feminism is about women supporting women, men supporting women and a platform of equality no matter what a person’s gender may be. Feminism should be about women and men alike, fighting tirelessly for change, because women have been silenced for fear of judgment for far too long.
Redefining feminism means teaching a younger generation that it is normal to speak up against injustice. Feminism is a resistance of those who have had enough of inequality and know they deserve better (Joy Webb).
The very same way I was able to reverse my ignorance, I truly believe with the right stance, motivation and persistence, we can reverse the negative image of the feminist platform. We must all work together and understand that we do in fact need one another to progress and contnue to evolve.
Next week, I would like to share how absolutely embracing my imperfections allowed me to embrace the imperfections of others and stop holding everyone to unrealistic expectations that I myself, could not keep.
Until next time, keep moving, keep progressing, keep evolving!