1.the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
I have openly supported feminism since I was in elementary school fighting for the right for girls to use the monkey bars on the playground when the boys tried to keep them for themselves. As I grew up and became more grounded in my beliefs of equality I rarely questioned any notions of feminism until I noticed one very important detail. While discussing my writings on Scribe with a male friend of mine we began to discuss what feminism meant to both of us. My friend brought up an interesting point, he stated the term itself “feminism” seems like it tends more in the favor of helping women than men and throws off the balance of the word “equality” in the minds of many men. He went on to state that if feminism is truly the advocacy of equality then why does it only focus on one sex and not the other? The word feminism can seem unfair or appear threatening to men because the term itself appears to favor one sex over the other. I found myself pondering this point. I somewhat agreed with what he was saying, and while I stand behind everything the word feminism means I can understand why the term itself can appear misleading.
The reason that the word feminism focuses on all things feminine is that historically in our western societies women have been generally seen as second class to men. The word “feminism” then comes from the realization that one group (women) must advocate together to achieve the recognition of equality to men in the political, social and economic sense. I understand the perspective my friend was coming from, sometimes it can be difficult to rally around a word or let alone a movement which seems to not include you. Although the word feminism itself likely won’t change anytime soon, it is important to let men know this isn’t a movement against them or a movement that has nothing to do with them. It may be the reality that some men find it awkward to say they are “feminist” because the word is closely linked to “feminine” and some men may want to appear more “masculine”. The education about the true meaning of feminism is vital so that more people can understand that a man being a feminist does not have to mean he is feminine, but simply holds the very basic and reasonable notion that men and women should have equal opportunities.