Feminism and what it means to me

Feminism: The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes or to borrow Merriam Webster’s definition, the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.

For a logical thinker, I can’t see how this would be source of debate or why anyone would be against a cause so noble. My article was impelled by what I perceive to be the incessant rambling of men whom feel that feminism is to be blamed for all that goes wrong in the world. Now this may be attributed to misguided information about feminism and what it entails or this may simply be the chauvinist man finding difficulty with the evolving roles of women in society.

I will not speak to what is perceived to be the ‘typical feminist’, I will instead speak to what feminism means to ME.

  1. The term feminism is NOT synonymous with man-hater but rather liberation. Women are deserving of the right to equal socio-economic, educational and political opportunities. The operative words being RIGHT and OPPORTUNITY. I do not believe that there must be an organizational or institutional female quota that must be filled nor do I agree with any policy that promotes this. I feel that every post should be occupied by a person that is capable of executing the duties associated with that post. Genitals should have no bearing.
  2. A woman should not be subject to degradation of any form on account of the fact that she does not have a penis.
  3. A woman should not be punished for being raped. Rape is a traumatizing experience as is. Salt to an open wound is what I’d call not only failing to punish the rapist but punishing the victim. No I’m not making this up and as draconian as this may seem, this is happening today. An Indonesian widow who was gang-raped by eight ‘vigilantes’ as punishment for having an affair with a married man, is now to suffer the further indignity of being caned in public. A United Nations statistical report compiled from government sources showed that more than 250,000 cases of rape or attempted rape were recorded by police annually. The reported data covered 65 countries.
  4. A woman should be able to pursue a course of study once she is deemed fit.
  5. A woman is deserving of a salary equal to that of her male counterpart once the roles associated with that post fall in the same category.
  6. A woman should be able to drive. I’m not sure how much simpler I can make this one. To tell a woman she shouldn’t be able to drive because it will minimize her chances of reproducing is utter rubbish. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/30/saudi-cleric-driving-damages-ovaries
  7. Women are not pets sired to a master. They should be allowed to be in public without a male ‘guardian’.
  8. A woman should be allowed to own land without the accompanying signature of a male.
  9. A woman should not be punished for committing adultery. This one is beyond absurd. I am a strong advocate for the sanctity of marriage however I have four problems with this law. 1. It is heavily reliant on ‘hear-say’, how do you prove or disprove adultery without impeding on one’s privacy? 2. He that is without sin cast the first stone, once it does not insight hate, loss of life or bodily harm, who are you to judge? 3. It really does take ‘two’, why is a woman punished for the same ‘crime’ that her ‘accomplice’ is not? 4. Raping a married woman equates to adultery? I need not say more.
  10. Women should be allowed to vote.
  11. Women should be allowed to be strong and forceful in their convictions without being labeled a ‘bitch’ while their male counterpart is labeled ‘strong-willed’ and assertive.
  12. Female genital mutilation does NOT equate to male circumcision. There are absolutely NO health benefits. It is dangerous and can cause severe bleeding, problems urinating and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGM is concentrated
  13. Life is undoubtedly unfair, I do feel that a woman is fully capable of assuming responsibility of the aforementioned and it does not translate to the inevitable death of chivalry.

Feminism should not equate to an unhealthy battle of the sexes. I’ll reiterate, it is not synonymous with misandry. Women are subject to widespread gender discrimination, violence and lack of equal educational opportunities. They are harassed, beaten, trafficked and raped. In areas of conflict they are used as weapons in war. This is all on the premise of their genetic make-up. I am thankful for the significant movements made towards gender equality over the years, however there is still much to be desired and the denunciation of women can only continue to fade when we all recognize that feminism is not meant to denigrate men but rather to recognize and appreciate the female as a human being of equal value.

Let’s continue to fight for feminism

“Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who’s confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now.” 

― Joss Whedon

http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/6185.htm

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/gender-and-education/gender-based-violence-gbv/

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/examples-gender-inequality-around-world.htm

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/Worldswomen/Executive%20summary.htm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/27/7-ridiculous-restrictions-on-womens-rights-around-the-world/

http://www.esquire.com/features/how-to-act-in-public-0611#slide-1

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/29/opinion/29iht-edeltahawy.1.8528543.html?_r=0

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/11/20/saudi.rape.victim/index.html?eref=yahoo

http://news.yahoo.com/women-stoned-death-syria-adultery-174549066.html

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/gender-and-education/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/06/indonesian-woman-allegedly-gang-raped-punishment-caning

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201208/why-men-oppress-women

http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-saudi-arabia

http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/6185.htm

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/30/saudi-cleric-driving-damages-ovaries

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/gender-inequality-index-gii

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