Monday, November 24, 2014

Debunking the Feminist Ideal

I've been seeing an upswing in the amount of feminist posts recently. And while I usually do not get involved in this type of thing, I would like to finally share my views.
I have seen countless articles entitled (paraphrased of course) "I am a Mother, not a Feminist," "I'm not a feminist, but that equal rights thing is genius" and many more of the like. These articles address how these women (and yes, its usually women) do not see themselves as feminists because they do not believe that men should stop being "gentlemanly" and should continue holding doors for women and the like. They are conforming to what has come to be called "the new age definition of feminism."
I am here to debunk this ridiculous ideal, should you so let me.
The "new age definition of feminism" comes from people's inability to understand the actual definition of feminism. This new definition says that instead of having men as the dominant social power, it should be women. This ideal is what causes misinformed men and women to reference feminists as "feminazis;" a vile, destructive, rude, and anti-sematic term.
The literal, dictionary definition of feminism is "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men." I can see, whilst one is reading this definition, why people jump to the conclusion that this is advocating for the dominance of women. After all, as men are the dominant power now, this definition could seem, at a glance, to be defining how the power roles should switch from a patriarchy to a matriarchy. However, I ask that you read this a bit closer and with a more open mind. Forget everything the media, your parents, your daughters, your sons, your siblings, those people who have an influence on your thoughts and ideals: forget what they have told you and read that definition again.
"The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."
This definition tells you that feminism is the ongoing battle for equal rights between the sexes. Nothing more and nothing less. So all those articles in which people are mothers, not feminists, and fathers, not feminists, and do not believe in feminism but are advocates for equal rights, are complete and utter bullshit. Because if you feel that you should be treated with equal respect and rights as your friends and peers regardless of their sex, you are a feminist. Hands down, no arguing. Don't you tell me you're not. Because you can believe in equal rights and want people to hold doors open for each other: that's called being a decent human being. Wanting equal rights for all is being a decent being. I.e., being a feminist is being a decent human being. Saying you're not a feminist because you don't fit the "new" definition is ridiculous. The "new" definition is what misinformed people have come to interpret feminism as and it is wrong.
Feminism is the advocacy for equal rights between the sexes. I guarantee you if you tell someone you're not a feminist but you believe people deserve equal rights, you're going to get some weird looks.

No comments:

Post a Comment