“You must make women count as much as men; you must have an equal standard of morals; and the only way to enforce that is through giving women political power so that you can get that equal moral standard registered in the laws of the country.”
Emmeline Pankhurst, 1913.
Close to a century later,
“You grow up with your father holding you down and covering your mouth so another man can make a horrible searing pain between your legs”
Catharine MacKinnon, 1993.
If that second statement is not a generalized demonization of men, I don’t know what is. For those who don’t know, Pankhurst and MacKinnon are radical feminists. So, why such stereotypes of men after a few cases of inhumane behavior?
Essentially, this led me to think: what went wrong with feminism? What’s wrong with this movement now? I do agree with the goals, but my dear fellow feminists, [some of] you are going about it all wrong:
1. Feminism is for gender equality, not women’s superiority
Some feminists resort to stereotypes and curses instead of respectable strategies to ensure equality. Men are instantly associated with the word ‘misogynistic’. Sometimes they’re labeled ‘chauvinistic sexists’ if they don’t support feminism and many ‘anti-feminist’ women are no exception to this name-calling.
Feminism is aimed at elevating the female position, but gender equality is a movement worth the cause; it seeks the realities of both genders by how each of them suffer certain misgivings. It’s a matter of label, but it’s also a matter of underlying agenda.
2. Feminism is about structural change, not societal change
A common goal 21st century feminists share is to put an end to the sexual objectification of women, a cultural change. Now, would you deny your own sexual thoughts when you see an attractive men, my fellow feminists? You can whisper about Ryan Gosling’s backside, objectifying him, but when a man makes the same comment about a woman, it’s unacceptable?
I’ll just leave that here.
There is still considerable inequality in the perception of women choosing careers, distribution of household responsibilities, and many other areas where real measurable change is needed. Let’s focus on those, shall we?
3. Feminism is to promote independent women, not their political protection
In recent years, the image of a woman’s fragility or a better description would be Andrea Dworkin’s statement:
“to be rapeable, a position that is social, not biological, defines what a woman is.”
The end goal for feminists shouldn’t be censoring media content and political protection, but being able to stand up as independent women accountable for the choices they make. This poverty mindset only goes to proliferate the existing belief that women are in need of help, as opposed to men who need no assistance.
Aside from causes kickstarting education and employment for women in backward nations, many in developed nations have lost their way.
A true feminist is one who aims to achieve equality and humanity for both genders.
Feminism is not Sally Miller Gearheart insisting that ‘the proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10 per cent of the human race’.
Two different views of feminism: equity feminism and everything that feminism shouldn’t be. Which side are you on?
Recommended reading: 7 Artists Boldly Challenging the Role of Women in Art