June 11, 2016
Tea or coffee? I’m not fond of either, so I’ll take a hot chocolate. It took me quite a bit of time to decide what today’s conversation would be. I hope the title was a giveaway; today we’re talking about feminism.Thus, I present to you A Comprehensive Guide to: Feminism:
Feminism. Eight letters that, for some reason, when put together create controversy. Feminism is the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. It means that my gender does not inhibit my ability to get a job. It means that I get paid the same amount of money as the man sitting across from me doing the same job. It means that the quality of the work I produce is not judged based on my gender. It means my ability to get an education is not hindered based on my gender. It means that I am not obligated to fulfill certain predetermined societal roles. It means that I AM EQUAL.
Contrary to mainstream ideologies, feminism is not man hating. You see, we have to understand that the inequality of the sexes impacts women and men. For example, claiming a woman is the most suitable parental role, degrades the role of the father. It lessens his importance as a parent. Claiming we must maintain a patriarchy, supports the notion that men must embody the stoic leader who does not show his emotions. Emotions are human tendencies, not female tendencies. Prescribing roles, behaviors, and emotions to a specific gender is limiting, exhausting, and unnecessary.
In discussing feminism, I must also discuss chivalry. Chivalry is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as: disinterested bravery, honour, and courtesy; chivalrousness. A set of characteristics initially intended to describe knights (traditionally men), but are actually characteristics applicable to any gender. In essence, chivalry is being a person with good manners, politeness, and bravery. So to the men who tell me, “If you’re a feminist then I shouldn’t hold the door for you”. I say to them, “Holding the door open for someone is common decency”. Now, if I’m on a date with someone, who will pay is up for discussion. I can pay, you can pay, or we both can pay. If I ask, I pay. When I’m holding something heavy, please don’t assume I can’t carry it because I’m female. If you’d like to be kind and help, help. But, don’t justify your reason for helping that “I’m female and your male, and biology has rendered me inept of carrying heavy things.”
To sum up this whole shpeal – feminism is important, because equality is important. Despite the progress of the women and men before us, equality is still not the societal norm. So the real question is what are you going to do about it? Each of us must be willing to take on the responsibility of creating positive change. Now this won’t be simple, and it’ll never be simple. But the theory that change is unattainable is fictionalized; for change has proved itself to be evolutionary, acting as the accelerant that propels society forward, and we, together, are here to sculpt today, and most importantly an EQUAL tomorrow.