The word feminist is frequently misleading because of the latin root ‘femina’ meaning woman. The latin suffix ‘isme’ makes a noun into a practice, system, or doctrine (figure out how to say doctrine). In reality the definition of feminism in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the belief in and advocacy of political, economical, and social equality of the sexes’ Fun fact! Merriam-Webster dictionary actually named feminism The Word of the Year in 2017. It is defined as the “belief in and advocacy of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes expressed especially through organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests” From the Oxford dictionary.
The word ‘feminist and negative stereotypes of feminism often clouds people’s judgment when deciding whether or not to support feminism and what feminism truly is at its core. These negative stereotypes can prevent someone from becoming a feminist themselves. Some examples of these stereotypes are that feminists believe women are better than men, feminism is feminine, or only meant for women.
What blocks people from supporting feminism?
Oftentimes males feel pressured to act more masculine and eventually can become toxic. They act more violent and aggressive toward themselves and others. Toxic masculinity can be extremely damaging and often is a vital factor that blocks people from supporting feminism.
While researching I realized that it’s so important for men and boys to be involved with this change. It shouldn’t just be women fighting for themselves, women are only half of the planet. In order to make significant change, the other so% of humanity needs to take a stand. Change won’t occur if it’s just women fighting for themselves, after all most of the people in positions of power are currently men and if they realize how important feminism is and work towards a more equal world maybe we would be miles ahead than we already are.
I don’t understand how we can even begin to solve world issues like global warming or world hunger when we as humans are not equal. Imagine how many more ideas and insights we would have if women were given a bigger voice in conversations about these problems. Sometimes we don’t even have a voice. For example, when talking about our own bodies, we are not given a choice, the choice is given to 9 supreme court justices, 7 of them male.
Roe v Wade
Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States conferred the right to choose to have an abortion. The decision deconstructed many federal and state abortion laws, and caused an ongoing abortion debate in the United States about whether, or to what extent, abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, and what the role of moral and religious views in the political sphere should be. The decision also shaped debate concerning which methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication.
Landmark decisions are decisions by the Supreme court that modify the already existing law. For example, previously, having an abortion used to be legal in the U.S but once Roe v Wade was passed abortion became illegal in some states. The decision of whether abortion was legal or not was left up to the state governments. Currently abortion is illegal in 13 states, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. In Georgia abortion is legal until the baby is six weeks old. This law is absurd because most women don’t even realize they’re pregnant until the baby is 8 weeks old. What makes the decision even more appalling is that it is more precarious to actually give birth than get an abortion. The American University states “The only alternative to abortion is childbirth, which has a 14 times higher risk of death than that abortion.”
Egalitarianism & Humanism
Because of its root word, ‘woman’ feminism is often seen as being based on only women, or just that only women can be feminists, which is completely not the case. But, if so many people possess preconceived notions based on the name, why not call it Egalitarianism, or Humanism? Actually, there is a very good reason feminism is more popular and ethical compared to Egalitarism and Humanism.
According to WAVE (Women Against Violence Europe), “Egalitarianism is a trend of thought in political philosophy”. An egalitarian supports equality and believes people should receive the same, be treated the same, or be treated as equals, in some respect. Egalitarian doctrines tend to be based on a background idea that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status. However, the reason Egalitarianism should not be used in the same respect as feminism is because the basis around which Egalitarianism was formed were only for the equal rights of men and not women. Because of this, women are consistently not included when talking about equality in Egalitarianism.
Humanism came into view during the French Revolution and eventually in Germany by a group of men called the Young Hegelians. Their main view was benevolence to one’s fellow humans, but men at the time didn’t see women as their own ‘fellow humans’, so that immediately defeats the purpose of being benevolent to all humans.
Like I previously mentioned, the meaning of feminism itself is often very much misinterpreted to be only for women when really it is the ‘equality of the sexes’. This is particularly clear when proponents concerning the term equalism argue their case. They proclaim that while feminism is only for women, egalitarianism and humanism is for everyone. However, this just showcases the unfortunate widespread confusion about what feminism stands for and what its aims are. Feminism is by definition the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. The feminist movement started in order to help women obtain the same rights as men, but it definitely is not trying to take them away from men. The term feminism was, and still is, used not because women deserve more liberties than men, but because they just don’t have the same ones yet.
Ultimately throughout this article I’ve explored the various different opponents to feminism as well as the correct meaning in order to inform you what feminism really is. I strongly believe that feminism is the correct choice as opposed to humanism, egalitarianism, or even equalism, because it not only supports women, but advocates for gender equality, which the rest of these ideas fail to achieve. I hope that by now, you are somewhat interested in learning more about feminism, and are thinking about why everyone should be a feminist.
Sources checked using AI Mojo template Researching SIFT for Reliability
Results from AI Mojo template Assessing 06
Areas I might improve upon: In some parts of my writing, I could further strengthen my logic by providing additional evidence or examples to support my claims. For example, when discussing how people are misinformed about feminism due to its name and negative stereotypes associated with it, I could provide some examples of these stereotypes in order to make my point even stronger. Additionally, when discussing how having an equal number of women involved in conversations about global problems would benefit us all, providing some specific examples of what kind of insights women could bring would help bolster my argument further.
My Reaction: I actually did provide some examples about negative stereotypes on feminism but I don’t have too much on what kind of insights women could bring so that’s a good suggestion.
Results from AI Mojo template Assessing 06.1
Areas I Might Improve Upon: My text could be further improved upon by providing a more detailed explanation as to why feminism is more beneficial than other terms such as humanism or egalitarianism.
Additionally, I could provide further evidence for why gender equality is an important factor when trying to address world issues such as global warming or world hunger.
My Reaction: I don’t have too much on addressing global warming and world hunger and I don’t have too much on why you should care so both are good suggestions. However I think that I have a sufficient amount on why feminism is more beneficial compared to egalitarianism & humanism.