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Women Empowerment: On Feminism

Half of the footprints on this earth are planted by women – it should be no argument that they are meant to have equal depth as those of men. Bands of women have paraded throughout history stomping, marching, and kicking up dirt on this same planet in brave attempts to achieve equality. Since the first wave of organized feminism in 1848 in Seneca Falls, equality has been a goal of activists worldwide. Although many parts of the world have come a long way in the fight for women empowerment, we still stand strong today. Around the world, feminism has presented itself as a collage of aspirations and intentions set aflame by various causes. Although feminism has been split into three waves throughout history, they’re all a part of the same ocean. People who acknowledge modern feminism as aggressive hold a valid opinion, but people who criticize feminism because of this truth is uncalled for. It’s about time to be aggressive. Women have been through many years of fighting, and we still find injustices in regards to women’s issues – it’s infuriating.Photo courtesy of Cerritos College.

Before this week I was unaware that there is a group of people who identify as anti-feminists. Anti-feminists are women who are mainly against feminism. When first coming across the name of this group, anti-feminists, I was shocked. After seeing the various videos, articles, and websites produced by anti-feminist women, I believe none of them are truly “anti-feminist.” Feminism, by definition of Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” or “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests”. People often confuse this definition and believe feminism is about entitlement and supremacy. The term Anti-Feminism broken down expresses a passion against this definition, however anti-feminists explain that their belief is different. Like feminists, they believe that there should be equality for men and women and agree that one would be hard-pressed to find an individual against this goal. What they do not believe in is the ideals of modern-day “stereotypical” feminists. One video I found stresses the fact that feminism is not what it used to be. They believe that now, to be feminist, one has to believe certain political views and appeal to a certain style. This video is the only valid explanation of why someone would be anti-feminist based on the definition this specific woman has presented. The other articles presented flimsy arguments about the fact that men and women will never be the same.

Of course they will never be the same; that doesn’t physically make sense! Men are men and women are women, but we are all human. In feminism there is a fight for equality, not sameness. Feminism has never, is never, and will never be about sameness.The anti-feminists criticize modern day feminism because people make it whatever they want it to be. Feminism is not defined by individuals who choose to allow their body hair to grow, display their absence of undergarments, and argue liberal political beliefs… it can be represented by these people, but it can also be represented by you. Everyone has a right to feminism and doesn’t have to identify with certain stereotypes to have a passion for gaining accessibility to all rights.  This is not a cult, but a variety of voices, like an assorted bouquet bound by the ribbon that is feminism. Personally, I don’t see any harm in making feminism what you want it to be as long as it holds its core definition. Feminism is what it is and that has been solid through years of durability: a fight for equality. The people who criticize this “willy-nilly interpretive” concept of feminism may not realize a fight for equality does not hope for identicality – it demands rights and recognition.

Photo courtesy of Pitchfork.

There is still a glass ceiling to be broken, a Bechdel test to be passed, and a respect to be demanded. As girls, we are informed that if little boys pick on you that means they like you. When we are in middle school, we have to cover our shoulders because we may be a distraction. During our growth, surroundings mold us to believe that girls should be feminine and boys should be masculine. Our youth provides us with our first impressions of this world, but we mature and recognize the differences and praise the fact that many lines about gender norms are being strongly crossed. Mothers should teach their daughters to desire rights for their bodies and to be awarded what they deserve. We’ve been fighting for ages, and by the time our children grow up they should know how it feels to have the power we’ve earned for future generations. Women want to have equal rights in areas that have not yet been evened out. Everyone should be a feminist because the passion for equality is basic and logical, to identify as feminist is not to be radical but to express your support for justice. We’re not fighting for superiority or an unearned privilege, but for something we have earned and a world we demand to live in. We don’t need to fight to be queens or run the world, because we already do. 




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