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Message to Readers

Thanks for reading all of this (if you have, XP). I hope it helped clear thing up, in case you previously did not quite understand feminism. I'd love to receive any feedback you have!

Feminism- an explanation

February 10, 2019


Feminism- an explanation (see footnote 1)

What is feminism?
Feminism is a movement that fights for equal rights between the sexes and genders. It in no way wants female superiority. If someone wants female superiority, they are in no way a feminist. If they consider themselves one, then they simply have a flawed perception of what feminism is, nor what its goal is.

Why is feminism still needed?
1. The wage gap is real. For several jobs (according to a credible source), women earn about 73-74-75% of what men earn- this is for the same job (see footnote 2). Some people say that other factors compose the wage gap, but, since it was discovered by expert economists, I'm sure that they already considered other factors.

2. Feminism is about the entire world, not just the U.S. or "modernized" countries. In several countries, females can't go to school, need male permission to travel and even to get a medical visit. If feminism is more concentrated in certain countries, this does not mean its only purpose is supporting equal rights between the genders in that country: they are also showing solidarity to oppressed genders over the entire Earth.

3. Stereotypes, biases, and blindspots work against both females *AND* males daily. Feminism doesn't just fight for "women's rights," but also for "men's rights" (in quotes because there should be no distinction, they should just all be called "equal rights"). An example of a stereotype against men is that they aren't the primary caretaker. This leads to discrimination in divorce custody cases. An example of a stereotype that often goes to hurt women is that of them *being* the primary caretaker, leading to discrimination in the workplace.

4. The scar of centuries of discrimination has not yet healed: because of this, there is a strong gender inequality in politics, as well as in a lot of other sectors. Past discrimination sets a precedent for women or other genders to get hired in certain jobs. Even if some do, it will take time for there to be as many men as there are women as there are other genders (more or less, of course), hired in that occupation.

Subtle(ish) stereotypes
1. The phrase, "Never hit a girl" is quite stereotypical. The sentence itself seems obvious, but the specification of the gender never to hit is unnecessary. Violence should not be used regardless of gender, no one should be hit, not just women. Specifying "girl" hints at the fact that females are weaker than males, an age-old (and by now long disproven) stereotype. While some females may be weaker than certain males, certain males are also weaker than certain females. The same goes for other genders.

2. "Perfume" is technically a sexist word. It seems to derive from the French "pour femme," which translates to "for women." This enhances the stereotype that women use perfume and cosmetic accessories associated with it. Of course, at the time that the word was created, society most likely did not imagine that males could one day wear perfume, but of course we must defeat this stereotype and accept men who wish to wear it. This is also quite an old stereotype, as male perfumes are very common.
However, a stereotype still seems to live on in the world of perfume: scents designed for males have a certain smell, those for females typically have a different one. Those for males are fresh and usually give the idea of strength or other stereotypical male qualities. Those for females can be sweeter of smell. I find this deeply stereotypical.

3. Until quite recently, worker emojis were only available in the male version. Today, this has changed. However, there are still several stereotypes noted in the emoticons we use every day, and that could even influence our way of thinking, therefore nudging bias into our heads. For example, female figures usually have a pink or purple shirt, while males have a blue/green one. This enhances the association of a color to a gender, a stereotype that is not based on anything. In fact, once pink was the "male" color (see footnote 3). This simply goes to prove that being a certain gender does not mean liking a certain color, and emojis should not enhance that. Furthermore, female emojis still usually have long hair, while male ones have short hair. This is a stereotype that has long been defeated, and I understand that emojis need to have some clear way of distinguishing the two sexes, but I still find it a bit unnecessary.

There is an infinity of more stereotypes, but it would be impossible for me to list them all. I apologize.

Be careful to not get confused by these
1. "Girl power" is not the same as feminism, as it specifies that its purpose is the empowerment of females. It neither appears to fight for the equality of the sexes nor for non-binary gender identities.

2. The movement of feminism is wrongly named: the name hints at the word "female," hence provoking confusion in its real purpose. It likely has this name because, originally, the main purpose of the movement was for female empowerment specifically, as at that time the balance between the sexes was clearly in favor of males. However, feminism really fights for equality between the sexes and between the genders.

Thank you very much for reading, I appreciate it. I would like for you to keep this in mind, as I know it is a movement that causes a lot of confusion.
(1) A wonderful piece by @Paperbird inspired me to write something sociological (and to divide it into sections) like this. Check out the wonderful piece here: https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/97360/version/185228 .
(2) I noted this in an article that I can no longer find, pardon my inability to cite my sources.
(3) For the section on emojis, I searched "female emojis" and "male emojis" on Google to confirm my memories of the stereotypes in emojis.


See History
  • February 10, 2019 - 12:32pm (Now Viewing)

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  • PureHeart

    You explained this very carefully, and I did not know all of this since people promote feminism in different ways. Very informative.

    over 1 year ago
  • Julius Caesar

    *applause* enlighten the world my friend

    over 1 year ago
  • Kenny

    Wonderfully and concisely explained.

    over 1 year ago
  • rainandsonder

    Excellent, informative essay! Some people seem really confused on the difference between feminism and misandry. Also, the name “feminism” isn’t about women, it’s about how being feminine is thought of as weaker in society, so it’s not just about women but also about how men are affected by these harmful stereotypes and expectations.

    over 1 year ago
  • paperbird

    yes!!!!!!!!!!! i mean i've seen you rant about this before but this is so eloquent and dignified. you present your argument respectfully but you're also clear to make your case. also thx for the shout-out, although i don't think i spent nearly as much time on it as you did this––it was more of a rant sort of thing, whereas this is a compassionate argument.

    over 1 year ago