Nowadays, feminism is one of the most internationally discussed topics. Nonetheless, there still are many people that cannot grasp the notion of feminism in full, and do not consider it to be an important one. What is more, feminism is the topic that still raises a lot of controversy and heated discussions. Probably, there is no universal definition for feminism, as this is such a complex occurrence. What is more, throughout the years the understanding of it, as well as the ideas of feminism itself have changed greatly. Feminism is also a personal thing, and one may define it as a combination of various beliefs, movements and agendas aimed at promoting, explaining and establishing the equalities of sexes in contemporary world.
It is important to understand that after so many years, feminism is not something that is homogeneous, but an extremely versatile notion that can influence basically every level of individual's life. One of the basic components that feminists are utilizing is the set of cultural and societal ideas of what a woman is supposed to be, as well as of the notions indicating what the world is like for both of the sexes. The differences in how an individual is perceived only on the grounds of their gender still exist in the contemporary society. Feminism is concerned with trying to prove that there are many ways and aspects in which women are not equal to men, as well as to point out both intentional and unintentional gender discrimination that exists in the contemporary society.
Feminism also includes the ideas of changing the state of things in regard of gender inequality. With this purpose, feminists try to come up with the new ideas concerning the equal state of things, as well as with the ways in which the contemporary cultural perceptions concerning the representation of gender can and should be changed. The feminist vision of the world is different from the one adopted by the majority of the population, but it does not mean this vision is worse.
Feminism is also about the transition from the current state of things to the next level, as well as about the value of such transition. The actions and behaviors of proponents of feminism ideas are usually aligned with the understanding of the importance of stimulation the occurrence of this transition. In addition, feminism is not about some unidentified group of people, but it is rather a choice of each individual.
Nowadays feminism is not what it used to be before, but the process of transition for the movement will never end. Surely, with the development of contemporary technology, the ideas of feminism are being spread faster and more conveniently joining more people together, as well as educating the world about the ideas of feminism. Probably, this is the mean that feminists should use more widely in order to make the feminism more real and understandable.
The contemporary feminism should also work to break the stereotypes concerning feminism that exist in the contemporary society. For so many years the media was creating an image of a feminist – a person who hates men and despises everything feminine. Basically, this is the stereotypical image that exist in the mind of the entire generations. Thereby, the contemporary feminists should do their best to move away from this very image, and to prove that it is entirely untrue.
One more thing that the contemporary feminism should be concerned with is the connection with various cultures, as well as educating the people on the topic of matriarchal and patriarchal societies, as well as on the topic of changes that the concept of femininity went through during the course of the human history. The vision of what the world is and what it supposed to be should be clear for feminists, and they should implement the new vision by all the possible means that would educate and inspire the world.
The contemporary feminism should make the society aware of the fact that feminism is not about expecting some group of people to come to you and explain why it is necessary, but it is an individual choice that is all about activism. The change towards a more desirable culture is possible via the cooperation and desire to move the change forward. The ideas of what is tight and wrong in terms of gender, as well as discrimination or oppression of an individual due to their gender are the things that everyone should be aware of.
Nowadays, the majority of people do not call themselves feminists easily and willingly. The people still do not associate feminism with a fight for equality. The mushy concept that feminism is about the equality of sexes is used so often, but people do not actually know what it stands for. Feminism is often associated with a strong and progressive person that is determined to set things right and to change the world in the way it would be a better place for women to live.
Let us imagine a dialogue between a person A – the one that only knows that feminism is about equality, but does not have an understanding of what the movement is about, and a person B, who is a convinced feminist and is not afraid of using the term. Both of them are female college students.
A: - So, I know that feminism is about equality of men and women in all the spheres of life, but this has been going on for so many years, do we still need that?
B: - Sure we do. The description that you just recalled is surely used when talking about feminism, but it is not the one that can efficiently convey all the aspects of the movement. Feminism is so much more than just fight for the equality. Thanks to feminism, women nowadays have the right to vote – to make a decision of who is going to govern the country. What is more, if it was not for feminism, women would not be allowed to own and inherit property, just as they used to until the situation was changed with the help of the feminist activists.
In addition, feminism is struggling to make reproductive rights more friendly towards women. Furthermore, women used to be denied of the right to obtain education, as it was believes that they were not smart enough, or, in fact, not as smart as men. There are so many more examples that prove we need feminism, and that the movement has changed the life of women for better.
A: - OK, I see your point, but still – all of this has already been achieved, it seems to me that the world is very much women-friendly, and feminists can finally rest their heads, don't you agree?
B: - No, not at all. Many people that are not studying feminism and gender discrimination in depth, are not aware of all the issues that occur when it comes to gender. We all live in a patriarchal society, and the rules that we live by were established by men many years ago. These rules are so ancient and so well-established that no one ever questions them.
However, if one is to think about the stereotypes that exist concerning women, the situation is not that fun. Why is that that “a women's work is never done” – why the household duties are believed to be a responsibility of a woman, not of a men? Why a woman can be denied a job because she can get pregnant, and that is nor convenient for the company? Why, when it comes to females looks matter more than deeds? Why is that when a woman gets raped it is always her fault, and she is accused for that, not the rapist? Why women are taught since the early age that their entire life is to be led in a way that old please a man? Why is that when a woman crosses the stereotypical borders of femininity she is being judged, marginalized, and often offended? Finally, are men facing all the same issues in their lives?
If the above mentioned questions could be answered in a way that does not include an argument about gender, feminism would not probably existed. The entire contemporary culture is to be changed, so that it does not diminish the experiences of a woman, as well as does not oppress people just because of their gender. Women need to be respected, and men should understand that opinions, perceptions and lives of females are just as important as theirs.
A: - Whoa, that truly is a wonderful new perspective that you just showed me. I am going to do more research on the topic. Thank you!
B: - You are welcome! Always a pleasure to share my thoughts on the topic.
The process of developing one's gender consciousness is a very hard and exhausting way that demands a lot of attention and power. Each girl is being taught a set of rules and regulations that they are following unconsciously. Even though the lives within families, as well as the gender roles are changing greatly, there is still a lot to achieve. The process of building up woman's consciousness begins with an education, and the earlier the age is, the better it is for an individual. What is more, the overall treatment within the family, as well as the availability of info on the topic are important and helpful for a person that wants to identify as a female.