Feminism is a social and political movement that advocates for the rights of women on the grounds of equality of sexes. It does not deny the biological difference between the genders but demands equality in opportunities. It covers everything from social and political to economic arenas. In fact, feminist campaigns have been crucial in the history of women empowerment. The feminist campaigns of 20th century made possible the right to vote, property, work and education for women. Feminism is not just important for women but for every gender, caste and creed. It empowers people and society as a whole.
A very common misconception is that only women can be feminists. This is absolutely wrong. Feminism does not just benefit women but strives for equality of sexes, not superiority of women. Feminism takes the gender roles which have been around for so many years and tries to deconstruct them. This allows people to live freely and empower themselves without getting tied down by traditional restrictions. In other words, it benefits both the genders of society. For instance, while it advocates that women must be free to earn, it also advocates that men should not be the sole bread winner of the family.
Feminism has had a life-changing impact on everyone, but especially on women. If we look at history we see that it is what gave women the right to equality in every respect. It was no small feat but was achieved successfully by the struggles of women. If we look at modern feminism we see how feminism involves in campaigns that support the abortion of unwanted pregnancy and for reproductive rights that allow women the freedom of choice. Moreover, feminism constantly questions patriarchy and strives to do away with convention gender roles. It allows men to be whoever they wish to be without getting judged. It is not taboo for men to cry anymore because they must be allowed to express themselves freely.
From the latest data on gender equality it is abundantly clear that there is tremendous dissent and disagreement today among people around the world about the status and importance of equality. There are millions of people who both inwardly and outwardly do not support the idea that there should be equal rights for men and women. There are thousands of people who feel we have already arrived at equality for men and women. There are also thousands of people who believe we are not at all there yet and support continuing efforts to pave the way for equal rights for men and women. And there are still thousands of people who believe in equal rights but find feminism a word and a movement that doesn’t align with their personal beliefs and values.
It is abundantly clear that our specific views on these issues are rooted deeply in our own person and direct experiences rather than on any data or science surrounding the issue. In other words, if we have personally faced discrimination we know beyond doubt that it exists but if we haven’t faced it ourselves we often doubt that it happens. Finally, both conscious and unconscious gender bias is rampant within us but most of us aren’t aware of it. Feminism at its core is about equality of men and women and not their sameness. So many people offer the argument that women are not same as men so there can’t be equality. In other words, because their bodies are different and men and women have different physical capabilities, these physical differences means equality is not possible. It’s critical to understand that same does not mean equal. The issue here is about equal rights and equal access to opportunities.
Men and women do not have to be same in physicality to have the right to equality. Many people fear that feminism will mean that men will eventually lose out on power, influence, impact, authority and economic opportunities. Many people also believe that feminists want to control the world and put them down. Some also fear that feminism will overturn time-honoured traditions and religious beliefs. It is also believed that feminism will bring negative shifts in relationships, marriages, society and culture. To get this negativity out of our minds it is essential for young people to get involved in the feminist movement and know the real meaning of feminism. This way we can achieve faster results as it is no less than a dream to live in a world full of equality and respect.