What's The Difference Between Feminism And Egalitarianism?

What's The Difference Between Feminism And Egalitarianism?

"If you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it." -Emma Watson
10086
views

I think it is fair to say that most of us believe that women and men are equal. That no matter what color our skin is, where we grew up or what kind of toppings we like on our pizza, we all have equal value and deserve to be treated that way.

So what do we call this belief? Is it feminism? Is it egalitarianism? That is the question.

Feminism, according to Google, is defined as “the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men.”

Egalitarianism, according to Google, is “a trend of thought that favors equality for all people.”

So feminism falls under the umbrella of egalitarianism right? Yes. But, feminism is not simply a “trend of thought” like egalitarianism is. Feminism is a social movement. Men and women who consider themselves to be feminists should be actively working toward gender equality. Feminism is, inherently, about action. It is the only social movement heavily working toward equality with a specific focus on gender.

It is safe to say that egalitarian laws and practices need to exist in order for feminism to exist. We live in a society that is generally egalitarian-minded. However, the progress made from this mindset has not brought enough significant change to the way women are viewed and treated. That’s why we need something more. That’s why we need feminism.

Let’s look at it this way: egalitarianism is not an alternative to feminism. It’s like saying, “Why worry about exercise? Why not just worry about health?” You can’t really have one without the other. And don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing wrong with egalitarianism. It is simply a broader view of the fight for equality. Feminism is a narrower focus of that view; a focus on bringing women up to the same places men have been for years.

It is my personal belief that referring to the movement for women’s rights as feminism serves to remind us that this fight is about women. I feel that the term "egalitarianism" erases women from the picture. Calling this movement "feminism" reminds us who is to benefit from the reform.

It’s easy to get caught up with these labels. It’s easy to forget that at the end of the day, feminists and egalitarians want the same things. Everyone hopes for a world where all people are treated equally, regardless of gender or circumstance.

As presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton once said, “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

Cover Image Credit: Abbie M. Miller

Popular Right Now

5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
262977
views

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

97
views

While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

Related Content

Facebook Comments