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Feminism has seen a huge rise in the last couple of decades, and I am no expert, but I think it was invented by the Spice Girls. OK, that is not true, but as a youngster growing up It was the first time I actively and publicly saw a campaign giving women a voice. Naturally being a young whipper snapper I didn’t quite understand this ‘women have a voice’ and ‘Girl Power’ movement. Girls couldn’t speak before? Sally Withersmith in my class was a girl* and she talked all the time.
It would take a pretty big effort to go out of your way and disagree with the feminist ideology though, I mean there is simply no harmful indictment in it. Naturally if you are an insecure male authoritarian such as Milo Yiannopoulos, you may take a different view. But I would suggest being sceptical of anyone who has outlandish views for money, that includes Katie Hopkins. It is their job to stir controversy and ‘debate’. I use that term loosely, largely because it is a strange thing to debate against. Especially when you look at the definition of feminism.
It is fairly straight forward according to Mariam-Webster, it is; ‘the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.’
Now when Sally Withersmith was chatting away behind the boys toilets I don’t think she was fighting for those things, but many women (and men) are. I also think even if you are not actively involved in the movement, the default position would be to be in favour of it. Otherwise you’re stood there with a placard that says ‘I don’t want political, economic and social equality for men and women’, which would be weird. Although ironically if they were granted unequal rights to protest, they would not be able to protest for more unequal rights.
Thankfully we are seeing change, albeit quite slow change. There have been two female Prime Minsters in the UK in the last 30 years and, if nothing else, that proved that some women are just as bad as some men at running the country. It is almost as if the gender of a person does not directly correlate with their ability to do something. People debating which sex is better at what, and where they were better in history, is the most arbitrary and meaningless activity going. Rather like Christians debating with Muslims who has persecuted more people. The real debate is regarding the underlying hate or disscontempt for the other.
Typically though the source of all hate can be tracked down to ignorance, and this is very often the case with feminism. The aggressive opposers, such as Milo, are just plain illiterate when you consider their primary arguments against it. They just seem to get the words feminism and misandry mixed up daily. Misandry being the active hatred of men. Now, I’d never want to assume stupidity on someone else behalf but with a few taps on a keyboard and a click of a mouse, I managed to figure that out. I’d also never want to suggest they do this deliberately due to their vested interests, but it is either that or you are a potato.
So feminism is not misandry.
Feminism is not sexism either.
Sexism is certainly something which is fair game for debate – unlike feminism. You can debate whether someone has been discriminated against or not, but there should be no debate about whether we have equal rights or not. Whilst that may not be a revelation for some, to others they will have to go and correct a lot of tweets and blog posts, where they labeled someone a man hating feminist or sexist. When in actual fact they should of just called them a misandrist or a humanist, even then they would only be proving their own ignorance.
Humans seem to love ignorance, it keeps them happy and it allows them to perpetuate their own ideas without fear of ever being wrong. Naturally though this stupidity ceases upon the problem feminism has and that is, the PR problem. The reason it is often mistaken for misandry is simply because feminism looks a little bit like feminine and feminine is a middle England term for woman. It comes form the Latin word Femina, which means, you guessed it, woman. It kind of suggests that you’re goal is woman based.
Theres swathes of low attention span ignorant people who literally make that connection and then base a whole set of false belief upon it. I should probably also say at this point that, the subtext for this post is actually to see whether people who affiliate with either side just read the headline without the context or perspective, and make judgements based on that. That in essence is part of the problem. If you read it all and withheld judgement, give yourself a pat on the back and let me know in the comments. Ok, back to the solution bit.
Do not fear though, there is a solution for the feminism PR problem, and it doesn’t involve the burning of undergarments. It is purely in the terminology, the thing is there is no difference between fighting for equal rights and fighting for feminism, they want the same thing. Calling it equal rights and using the term equal rights will just avoid the terminological disaster.
Now don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that women have a lot more ground to make up in this equality battle. They have been the oppressed for centuries, and typically need to fight for significantly more rights than men. Ultimately though they’re fighting for equality and I think that word is good enough.
*To my knowledge she is still a girl.
P.S I know this is not related to mental health directly but it is something I noticed and was intrigued to write about. More mental health stuff coming soon.