Defining Feminism: Equality Loves Men And Women
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Politics and Activism

Defining Feminism: Equality Loves Men And Women

Defining Feminism: Equality Loves Men And Women

An online poll by Time Magazine was recently brought to my attention, asking the public, "What word should be banned in 2015?" Browsing the list, you will see words like "bae," "turnt," and "yaaasss." And at the very top of that poll with the highest number of votes, you will also see the word "feminist." 

As you can imagine, this caused a bit of an outrage because, without context, it basically says that a word calling for the equality of women should be banned from use.

Now I'm not an irrational person. I understand that Time was not necessarily arguing that feminism should be banned, but rather that the word gets thrown around so much today to the point where it loses meaning. I am not about to grab a pitchfork and call for a Time Magazine bonfire just because of one little poll. However, this poll does bring forward interesting insight into public perception of feminism. 

To many people, male and female alike, feminism is some far-leftist movement of angry women calling for the enslavement of men and the ultimate superiority of women. But the real definition of feminism is the advocacy of the equal political, social, and economic equality of women and men.  

As you can see, when defined correctly, feminism is simply calling for equality between genders. Now I have been fortunate in my life. I was raised in an atmosphere that taught me that men and women should be equal in all of these matters. This is why I have been able to get a good education and pursue the same opportunities as the men in my world. 

However, there are still many women in all parts of the world, including the United States, who cannot achieve this equality. According to the US Census, women only make 77 cents for every one dollar that men make. Some women are discouraged from attending school, like in the case of Pakastani teenager Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head for advocating for women's education. And everywhere in the world, women face the constant threat of sexual assault, slut shaming, lack of access to sexual health resources, and many more issues that come with sexual inequality. 

It is also important to note that these problems are not exclusive to females. Men can be sexually, physically, and verbally assaulted. Men can face harmful double standards that do not always pertain to women. Inequality is not a female-only struggle. However, inequality towards women has been deeply ingrained in society by thousands of years of domestic tradition, and therefore it can be a complicated and unclear issue that affects every day practices. Which brings me back to defining feminism. 

Feminism does not say that women should be afforded protection where men are not. It does not say that men should be lesser to women. Feminism is simply calling for equality of all genders. And yes, maybe the word "feminism" can be off-putting, as many see the word and automatically think "man hater."  But in the end, the fact of the matter shouldn't be Feminists vs. Men, but rather Equality vs. Inequality because that is the true definition of feminism.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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