A recent myTake on feminism begins with ‘Feminism constantly claims to be "FOR EQUALITY" if you suggest otherwise, you will quickly and often quite rudely or aggressively be confronted with this definition: "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities" ’ That is followed by “At NO POINT will you ever be given proof of this definition…” Excuse me, but a definition is a definition. It needs no proof. By definition a car is a vehicle. No proof is needed, it is just the definition. So regardless of anyone’s opinions on “the movement” or those who espouse it, it is what it is.
The writer then stated a list of what she called “false mantras” and stated they were endlessly debunked lies. The “lies” she was talking about were conclusions and facts from respected sources. For instance the “lie” that women generally make less for the same work. Though many women are able to break the constraints of their gender, most still face less compensation for the same work.
The Take then lists many cases of actions that seem to “prove” feminists are bad people. All it really proved was that there are some people who will do bad things among any group, and that some things are taken out of context to cast a group in a bad light.
So let me state some truths about feminism and feminists, starting with a definition of feminism taken from Wikipedia: “Feminism is a range of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.” That is what feminism is by definition, and no proof is needed for the definition. Who actually believes that equal rights is a bad thing?
And what is a feminist? Again from Wikipedia: “Feminists are people, both men and women, who believe in equal rights for females. Some active feminists may campaign for equal educational, economic, political and social rights. However, most feminists are passive in their approach but still strongly hold the view that men and women deserve equality within these domains.
It is a common misconception that a 'feminist' is a term relating just to women when in fact, many modern day men identify as feminists.”
Notice that feminism does not proclaim the women are equal to men. It states that women have equal rights. I don’t see anything bad in that!
Now who are some of the “terrible” feminists? Let’s start with this group:
These are feminists who believed that women should have the right to vote (picture from HarpersBazaar online). Most people have shed their cave man mentality and agree with that now, though many still harbor the belief that women can’t think and should not be able to vote. It appears that if you are anti-feminist, you are against women having the right to vote.
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States. (1849) Women in medicine were not accepted before that and most were still fighting it long after that. She was one of many women pioneers who fought for the right to practice medicine as long as they were qualified. If you are anti-feminist, you are against women doctors.
Without women like Rosie the Riveter taking over the “men’s jobs”, America would have failed during World War II. Women stepped up and proved they can do it while keeping America running and turning out goods needed for life here and for the war effort. Nobody complained about feminists then. Nor did they dare say that women could not do the job which they were obviously doing.
In simpler ways, feminists are making their mark in society all the time. Barbara Walters became the first female co-host of any news show, yet true to discrimination against females, she made only half as much as her male co-workers.
I cannot see any sane person believing that somebody should be judged solely on their gender, ignoring all other qualifications. Yet constantly people who should know better stand up and say something totally stupid.
I do not advocate the harmful actions of radical feminists. Nor do I advocate the harmful actions of any group. And I do not support the suppression of people trying to bring about equal rights for any legal, non-hateful group.
So how can you recognize a feminist?
Anyone who supports equal rights for women.