By: Agostina Pieri
Feminism is such a tainted word nowadays with most people ready to drag down the movement and describe it as “Anti-Men.” You couldn’t be more wrong. According to Oxford Dictionary, Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. Feminism is a long-living ideology that demands political, economic, personal, and social equality for both genders, not just women. It has a range of beliefs and extremes, as there are with any set of ideals, however the concept of equality for all, reigns as the central one for feminists.
In the US, there’s a long history of Feminism and equality, or lack thereof. There were widespread rebellions, with the most memorable being the demand that women should be allowed to vote. Feminists weren’t the only group to demand more rights. Around the time of Susan B. Anthony, abolitionists also demanded more rights for women. With Frederick Douglass being the most passionate, he argued that he could not accept the right to vote as a black man if women could not also claim that right. On August 26, 1920 history would be made; the 19th Amendment would be passed, giving women the right to vote. Therefore, this marks the 100 year anniversary in which women were able to have a voice in America. The people who made this possible were Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Now in 2020, Feminism has bloomed into a poisonous flower, with most people misunderstanding the historic value of the movement. Not only are feminists being attacked, but the movement overall is being sabotaged by the uneducated cowardice of men hiding behind a screen. The reason why Feminism has practically become a joke in this day and age is due to a number of reasons, which include but are not limited to lack of education, the media, hatred, and most importantly, fear. The lack of education towards Feminism stems not from a morally superior standpoint, but rather an uneducated perspective of what Feminism is believed to be. As wonderful as it seems, Feminism is not laffy taffy where you can mold it to be however you deem right. Being a supporter of Feminism doesn’t make anyone more feminine or less masculine, instead it allows for personal growth. The media also takes a big part in the subversion of the movement, with influencers promoting a toxic and false idea of women’s liberation.
The sudden hatred for women is overwhelming and disappointing. The majority of these disdainful comments come from a place of fear. As FDR once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This fear motivates those who are “against” the movement to make what they see as valid points against Feminism, saying that it only fights for the rights of women, therefore making the movement sexist and decisive with what it supports. In reality, Feminism is about the equality of both genders. This means men, women, and anything in between.
An example of a feminist organization is Equality. They fight for their vision of men and women to have equal rights under the law and enjoyment of human rights. Equality was founded in 1992 and is a non governmental organization. The idea that all feminists hate men and that all feminists are women is not only false, but stereotypical. The reason why it seems as though all feminists are women is because men see Feminism as a movement against them. Some men think that the idea of Feminism stems from hatred, and the desire to take men’s rights away from them and keep them as their own. Men often feel compelled to be Anti-Feminist. Contrary to popular belief, feminists aren’t hungry beasts out to get you. By rejecting Feminism, you are inadvertently participating in your own oppression. Seeking the downfall of Feminism affects both men and women alike. The sooner feminists are accepted, encouraged, and humanised in our society, the sooner we reach equilibrium. Feminism is a voice for the voiceless and a beacon of light in the darkness. It should be welcomed, not persecuted.