Core Values of Feminism

Core Values of Feminism

 

Have you ever posted on Instagram about feminism and had someone message you,  “Oh, so you hate men?” It’s a common misconception that the values of feminism equal us hating men. However, that is completely incorrect. The values of feminism are precise yet powerful.

 

1.To define, establish and achieve political, social, and economic equality between the sexes.

 

Women experience oppression in all the categories mentioned above. It’s much harder for women to succeed and prosper as human beings when there are many strains on them. Therefore, the core value of feminism is establishing equality between the sexes. With that being said, a lot of people seem to mistake feminism as a women’s movement, and less about the equality movement.

 

It causes a lot of strain on relationships between men and women when the equality value is being undermined. Thus, people become more bitter when speaking about feminism rather than empowered.

 

2. To establish concrete sisterhood  

 

Feminism has always been a way for women to be able to relate to each other as well. Women connect and share experiences knowing that we all share the same fundamental beliefs of equality.

 

In my first year, I decided to take ‘Gal Pals’ as an elective. We had a guest speaker named Agatha who was a professor from the United States. She reiterated the idea of sisterhood. She spoke about how sisterhood was used as a powerful word by women all over the world to relate to each other. It gives women the power to understand that they all experience different struggles in different ways, and they might experience more than sexism. For example, women of colour would experience racism as well, sometimes called ‘misogynoir’ when referring to Black women. hen a person of colour says the word “sister” to another woman, it means much more than ‘hey, we both go through sexism...I am here for you’; it is a powerful gesture of understanding that the struggles of sexism AND racism should be a primary concern to all feminists. The notion of sisterhood is a very complex process to understand because it isn’t just about people being close to each other. It is more of a concept that can make woman relate to each other and identify struggles through that word.

 

Queer and trans women face equal struggles. Their experiences with sexism and misogyny are different from straight women, often combined with homophobia or transphobia, and their definition of sisterhood will differ from those who do not face that oppression. It’s important to listen to these women when they speak of their experiences and remember that sister doesn’t mean ‘cis-ter’!

 

This does not mean that women who do not go through the same struggles of women of colour, queer women, and trans women cannot use the word sister. If anything, they are encouraged to do so! The word unites women of all different backgrounds to be stronger together and be able to push through everything. It is also a way to sympathize with other women. I am a woman of colour; if someone were to say the word sister to me, it would mean that they can feel my pain and are spiritually hugging me until I feel better.

 

3. Provide people the courage to stand up for what they believe.

 

Feminism creates opportunities for other marginalized groups to be able to stand up for themselves. When one group stands up for what they believe, they create an atmosphere of pride and courage. For example, when feminism arose, it gave people of colour and LGBTQ+ people more courage to fight for what they believe in. A person who identifies as all of those categories will have more willpower to fight when they see other people fighting for what they believe in and succeeding. Women had to go through countless obstacles to be able to stand on their feet and still shout in the face of the enemy to gain their freedom.

 

It speaks volumes to the strength and persistency of the women who pushed back against the system, no matter how many times they were knocked down, until they won their battles. Just because women now have their legal freedom in certain parts of the world does not mean that the fight is over. Women in places like Saudi Arabia, India, Africa, and more can experience physical violence when they speak about their beliefs, and can even be killed. However, when these women see that people are still fighting despite the danger, then they will continue. They will fight against racism, against misogyny, against homophobia, until they receive the same rights to education, to their children, and to their bodies as men.

 

Feminism provides a way for all women to unite and become one. When we truly understand that, all women become powerful.