Friday, June 19, 2015

Feminism: An Introduction

I've blogged about feminism before, but I feel like I threw you guys into this without a proper introduction. Hi, I'm Steph, and I'm a feminist! Hopefully, you are too, even if you don't know it yet! But in case you aren't swayed, or just don't really know what I'm talking about, here's a concrete introduction to feminism.

What is feminism?
Feminism is defined as:

a) The theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes;
b) Organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests.
If you believe in either of those things, then congratulations, you're a feminist! Come, join us! We have gender equality and cookies!

What is feminism not?
Basically, if it's not included in the definition above, it's not feminism. There are haters who claim that feminism's goal is female supremacy. This is not true. Do not listen. Female supremacy is just the polar opposite of the male-dominated world we live in now; it doesn't create any sense of equality!

One of the most ubiquitous myths about feminism is that feminism is the same as man hating. Again, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Feminists don't hate men. We simply hate that for so long we've been seen as inferior to men, and sometimes we get a little bit frustrated with that. And honestly, sorry if your feelings get hurt, but a few people hating men is pretty benign and not nearly as harmful as what happens when people hate women.

Wait, so do feminists hate men or not? 
Basically, if you've seen any of these or these products floating around, you're witnessing the ironic, satirical beast that is the hipster feminist. It's all just harmless play and part of the ironic misandry movement. The objective is that by exaggerating accusations of misandry, we show how ridiculous these accusations are.

Who can be a feminist?
Anyone can be a feminist! You don't have to be female-identifying or fall into any other category. If you're a guy, don't worry, there are plenty of male feminists out there and we need more to help destroy the patriarchy.

Speaking of the patriarchy, what is it?
The patriarchy is fancy talk for the male-dominated society that we live in.

Wait, but it's the 21st century, does the patriarchy really still exist?
YES! In the US alone, there are only 20 female senators, 1 in 6 women will either be raped or be the victim of attempted rape, and women are still habitually underpaid compared to men. And this is in the US, a pretty developed country. Things are even worse when you go abroad to countries where girls get married as young as 13 and where genital mutilation is still practiced. This is why we still need feminism; there's progress to be made virtually everywhere.


What's intersectionality?
Intersectionality is a term feminists use to describe the unique experiences and identity of a given individual. For example, the experience of a queer black woman will undoubtedly differ from that of a cisgendered white woman. All of these different experiences are  incredibly important, so when we talk about feminist issues, we have to keep identity in mind. In turn, this makes things such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic class, and sexual/gender orientation feminist issues because all of those things impact women.

This is my quick intro to feminism. I hope you discovered that you're a feminist! I definitely didn't go into great detail or depth, but this is just an overview. I definitely want to continue with some of these posts exploring contemporary social issues as I think it's important to discuss these things at a young age and to be an informed citizen. Let me know if you found this post helpful or want to see more posts like this either in the comments below or on social media using #theyouthemisms!

No comments:

Post a Comment