The Definition Of Feminism And My Proposed Revision

The definition of feminism and my proposed revision

You hear it all the time, Feminism means:

“The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” Oxford Dictionary

But I believe that it misses the point, that there are many assumptions that are just not in there. So I propose a new definition:

Feminism: ˈfeməˌnizəm ( Noun)

A political group that believes that men have been the ruling class in the majority of history, and as a ruling class they have granted themselves certain rights and privileges that have been denied to women and men who do not conform to a gender standard set forth by this male ruling class (Patriarchy). Whose membership works towards balancing this gender inequality through lobbying, information campaigns, and activism.

I realize that to most feminists these definitions are synonymous, but without the extended background the dialog looses itself in the assumptions.

What do you think?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Yeah, I've actually said this exact thing on GaG before.

    People who -currently- self identify as feminists and are over 18 years old and actually connected to the movement agree with what is said in the full description.

    People who believe in equality but do NOT believe patriarchy is a defining feature of our culture, will typically NOT describe themselves as feminists if they've had any contact with the movement.

    I suspect the movement itself would feel obligated to add something about intersectionality.


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What Guys Said 3

  • I think I prefer the general definition because the second definition is almost a position of conflict against men whereas the first feels like an aspiration. They are very similar but avoid the creation of conflict. It is like saying that slaves wish to be free equal with their owners rather than saying the slave owning culture must be destroyed before slaves can be free, Both are asking the same thing but why create unnecessary conflict, if you can convince some people on the other side to come with you, there will be less hardcore resistance to change for you to deal with.

    • I have come to the conclusion that for there to be open dialogue a definition of feminism must include both the fact that it's a political movement and the central concept of the patriarchy. Without those central concepts any discussion would fall on flat on its face.

  • I think that's more realistic than the dictionary definition they currently quote.

  • Would clear up a lot of confusion and help people to readily decide whether or not they agree with that stand point.