Feminist Definitions: Feminism

 

ItSeeing as there is much confusion over the meaning of feminism, and it’s various sub-categories, I’ve decided to start a series that goes into this more.
Once, a friend of mine told me she was a feminist like me because she also didn’t “like women.” Naturally, I became greatly concerned as to why she thought I didn’t like women, as many of my favorite people are women, and I have aligned my entire career with the objective of researching the oppression of women.

“That’s not what that means,” I replied.

“But other women are too feminine,” she countered, “and we aren’t.”

She had fallen for the misconception that to be a feminist you must be un-feminine. That to be a strong woman, you must eschew femininity and look down upon women who enjoyed theirs. This is not the case. Feminism is the belief in equal rights for the sexes. Feminists are against femininity as a social construct that the government, media, and others can use (as the have in the past) to control the social participation of women.

Because women have different backgrounds (social, economic, educational, etc.), they will all experience different inequalities. Thus, the idea of what feminism stands for, and its meaning, is often misconstrued and altered depending on the personal female-experience. In its essence, feminism is the belief in equality of and for the sexes. It is not a system by which to judge women by whether or not they like the color pink and get their nails done, or they wear combat boots and only wear black.

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