Thursday, August 14, 2014

IS FEMINIST THE NEW "F" WORD?


Recently I watched a segment on The Today Show asking Is feminism still relevant?  As I watched with my mother I was stunned and felt a sense of dismay as individuals were stating why they were for or against feminism. This all stemmed originally from postings on Tumblr in regards to anti feminist posting with the writing prompt "I don't need feminism because..." Reading some of the responses seriously makes me question 1.) our educational process that people do not understand what feminism is and 2.) the history behind the fight for women's rights = feminist movements. What this really stems from are generations of privileged women who do not understand the definition or the struggle. They have seriously missed the mark.


Feminism by Definition

The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

So basically these women are saying that they don't need feminism because of one reason or another. There are many references that they believe they don't need feminism because they like it when men compliment their bodies. What!? Really?? That's what you think feminism is? I literally sat here reading these posts like WTF, questioning humanity in general and weeping for these generations futures. I felt like they were slapping the women that had sacrificed so much to get us the freedoms that we have today right in their faces. To give these women a clue, I'd love to communicate with them on a medium that they would understand. I would be interested to know what their definition of feminism was. I would also like to know what they could tell me about the history of the feminist movements, or if they had ever seen a very good movie starring Hilary Swank, Iron Jawed Angels (2004) about the fight and sacrifices that were made, just for women to gain the ability to vote. I feel that they are taking so much for granted.


Like, I mentioned. They missed the mark. The Feminine Movement started because women were oppressed. We were property, we couldn't obtain our own homes after our husbands had died, and we didn't even have the right to vote. While some of these women on Tumblr state that they don't need feminism because they want to work for what they earn. Well, did they know that we're still fighting for equal pay in the work field? How would they like to know that their male counterparts are probably making 30 cents more then they are for their hard work (that they think they're getting equally paid for, because of their hard work). They should read about the Fairness Paycheck Act that failed to go through this past April (The Washington Post).


What I did like about the segment on The Today Show was Soledad O'Brien's statement that "The phrase has been hijacked" (The Today Show link). After reading through the publications on the Tumblr site Women Against Feminism I realize they have their own definition of feminism. It is a contradiction when they suggest that they don't need feminism because they feel equal to their spouse. Feminism is about equality - not your delusional concept that you have been fed by some social extremist about the term.


Granted, everyone has the right to their own opinion. I would just hope that people base their opinions on facts and not what everyone else is posting or following. Even if you want to challenge the concepts of today with a definition of a term, then make up your own term. If you are anti-feminist, then so be it. Count yourself lucky that you live in a nation that you can express this without being physically assaulted. 


Even the Bible teaches us not to follow blindly unto what other's preach. With the internet at our fingertips, it's so easy to look up the terms before going online and publicly making a statement. If a man of God is preaching that "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women" (Pat Robertson, Wikiquotes) - then stop right their. The rest of his statement is invalid because feminism by definition is about equality.


Not all nations have the freedom that we do with equal rights and our privileges of living in our comfortable 21st century. Some women in other countries are still considered property and still live under the patriarchy concepts. Patriarchy by definition is a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line (thanks Google search). The search further explains that it is a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. Meaning, there is no such thing as equality for women. So when these women are stating that they don't need feminism, they are telling these women suffering through their oppression (yes, in the 21st century) that it's o.k. to be property. 


It's a juvenile mentality that just because they have civility and equality here, that it is everywhere. I wonder, these women who are not allowed to be educated - if they are given the chance to learn the terminology - what would they say to these women going on-line stating that they don't need feminism, that they don't need quality. I wonder what the women who are living in the patriarchy would tell them. I also wonder if these women making these "I don't need feminism" statements, to prove themselves, would swap lives with the women living overseas that are oppressed. Then, lets see if they whistle a new tune.


Other Links of Interest

MTV News, 16 Celebs Who Aren’t Afraid To Call Themselves Feminists
Daily Mail, Have they completely misunderstood the concept?
History, Art & Archives, The Women's Right Movement
Chicago Tribute, Disregarding feminism a sad trend for young celebs
Time, Shailene Woodley on Why She's Not a Feminist