Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Definition(s) of Feminism

fem·i·nism (noun) \ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\
1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests
3 : Something that puts a smile on Danielle's face (and, judging by the comments, Talia's as well)!


  1. I find it odd that people are still trying to defend the modern interpretation of "feminism" as anything related to social equality of the sexes. A simple deconstruction of the word's latin roots reveals it to be of or related to the female sex. It would be equally absurd to attempt and redefine "masculism" as a defensive position or movement striving for equality of the sexes.

    The second definition listed above is more frank and honest, but is less preferred by "feminists" because it immediately exposes the outmoded nature of a movement that is largely useless in contemporary American culture. That is to say that the modern woman is afforded every right that a man is (and then some), so what's the point?

    In addition, if feminists more readily accepted the second definition it would make the position that "anti-feminists" are "persons hostile to sexual equality or to the advocacy of women's rights." much harder to defend. It's like saying "If you're not with me, you hate babies". Ironically, such logically unsound hyperbole makes anti-feminism much easier to appreciate and sympathize with.

    Don't believe me? Look here for a twisted (and quite incorrect) definition of what an "anti-feminist" is:

    I am proudly anti-feminist. That said, I believe strongly in women's rights along with men's. Feminism is an obsolete concept that has far outlived its useful lifespan, and now serves as an ideological "club" to interested parties who have simply run out of things to complain about.

  2. @Joel -

    I'm surprised at myself for clicking "publish" on your comment and not sending it straight to the trash. I guess somewhere along the line I remembered that people are going to have their own opinions, and it's not fair of me to censor them like a dictator.

    But I do have a few things to say in response.

    First of all - and this is the thing I don't understand - why is a "proud anti-feminist" going out of his way to comment on a feminist blog? I don't go out of *my* way to comment on blogs that contradict my values, because I know that trying to explain myself to people who are already set in their ways is next to impossible. So, if the people who read this blog are all on board with feminism, come here to get a few doses of positive energy, and generally have good intentions, why are you bringing things down?

    It would be cheesy to say that this blog is my "sanctuary" or anything like that, but it is VERY important to me. I feel completely justified in my ideas about feminism and gender equality. You can see why, after reading your comment, I feel like I was "disrespected in my own home."

    I understand the derivations of the word "feminism," Joel. Truth be told, it doesn't encompass both genders as well as a neutral term such as "humanitarianism" might. But it sounds like you've got some pre-judgments going on. By calling myself a feminist, it sounds as if you're implying that I hold women to a higher caliber than I do men, or that I must care more about their interests and well-being.

    Have you read the rest of my blog, Joel? Just the other day I talked about that stereotype - that feminists "hail all women over all men" - and how it really, really bugs me.

    Feminism is about equality, and acceptance, and not settling for less than ANY human deserves, regardless of gender. You might not like the word, but as long as it stands for something positive that a young person such as myself can identify with, I think your time would be better spent criticizing something else.

  3. Joel obviously has not done his research on feminism or he would not be bashing it.
    Feminism is about equality, not exclusion, or hate.
    Sorry Joel, you are way off on this one.

  4. @ Joel
    You say that "the modern woman is afforded every right that a man is (and then some), so what's the point?"
    This isn't true. You can look at rape/domestic violence statistics, pay disparities, stereotypes and negative influences in the media, or you can take my word for it that I have personally experienced sexism, but there are clearly many problems that disproportionately affect women and girls. To say otherwise shows that you are not paying attention.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...