This week's article is a response to a piece written by a fellow Odyssey writer who, last week, published an article entitled "I Am A Female And I Am So Over Feminists."
I will start off by saying that I am wholeheartedly and unconditionally a feminist. But what does that mean? Feminism is defined as the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. It is said to be an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women. It is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. These definitions came from various online dictionaries- I promise I'm not making it up for the purpose of this article.
None of these definitions include putting down or hating men. Feminism is about equality, not shifting power from one dominant gender to another. In the aforementioned article, the author writes about feminism as referring to a group of women who hate men, would rather be without them, and blame them for all of the world's problems.
Women who are determined to put down men are NOT feminists. Are they justified in their anger and resentment? Of course. Women have been suppressed since the dawn of time and while the writer of the article made a fine point in saying women have never had as many rights as they do today, we are still being oppressed. The author's first mistake was having a close-minded view on a group of people determined to make the world a better place. She has lumped together two groups with very, very different viewpoints.
I am a feminist. I believe that women should be as likely to be hired for an employment position as a man. I believe that women and men should be paid equally for doing the same work. I do not like having my boyfriend pay for every meal because I like equality. Sometimes we split the check, sometimes I pay for him, and sometimes he pays for me. We both open the door for one another. I disapprove of the media's portrayal of women as fragile and weak and men as powerful and strong. I believe in equal rights between men and women unconditionally.
I am a feminist, but I love men. Men deserve rights as well, and I do not blame all men for the inequalities perpetuated in our society.
My biggest issue with this other article and our society as a whole is the language we use to talk about this problem. The author was correct in some of her opinions, but she was absolutely incorrect in saying that feminism is about putting men down. I love and respect men, and yet I have been told by someone I loved that they "did not like that I was getting into feminism" simply because of this horrible stigma. We should not live in a world where my desire for equal rights between genders inhibits me from speaking out in fear of being rejected.
We have to readjust the negative connotation our society has given to the word feminism, or there is no hope for progress.