Feminism: The Conversation Of Inequality And Political Change
Women have been faced with countless cruel forms of institutionalized discrimination throughout history and in all cultural settings. This is unquestionable and disgraceful truth. Feminism plays a role both within our individual and social environments. To me, the impact of feminism in my life is both positive and negative. In my option, feminism has started the conversation of inequality, it has created a path for political change, yet, it has been stigmatized as false, and degrading.
Firstly, feminism was the conversation starter for inequality between the sexes. The traditional roles of men and women have been a systemic issue from the beginning of time. The inequality goes far beyond the traditional roles; men went to work, while women stayed home, care for their children, and catered to housework. This way of life was once not questioned, even when women were the property of their husbands. Feminism was the movement that started to allow women to see themselves more than someone else’s property. Women questioned their roles within society and their self-identity. Whether people are fighting for the right to vote, reproduction rights, equal pay, the right to education, or any other women’s rights, feminism has created a platform to do so. It has created a force that allows women and supporters to have a voice. Today’s feminism movement is more diverse than ever. Feminism has become more attentive to the wider range of experiences of those oppressed by gender norms and stereotypes, including men, non-binary, and transgenders. This allows different dynamics, options, and others voices to be heard within the conversation of feminism. Although the feminist movement started before my time, it was the platform that introduced me to the topic and helped me form my ideas and identity. To sum up, feminism has been the conversation starter for the pioneers of feminism and for feminists today.
Not only has feminism started the conversation of inequality, but it has also inspired real change within the fabric of our society’s economic, political, and cultural environments. Feminism gave the movement the platform and motivation to create real change. This change includes the right to vote, greater access to education, more equitable pay, the right to initiate divorce proceedings, the right to access to contraceptives and abortion, and the right to own property. The comprehensive list of achievements that feminism has impacted all women’s lives one way or another. Comparing then and now, it is evident that feminism has changed our society epically politically, and culturally. The fact that we have courses dedicated to the topic speaks volumes. Such a thing was not available for other generations, such as my grandmothers. Growing up in my generation, sometimes I forget how women before me fought for basic human rights. Education about feminism has shown me the large strides women have achieved towards a more equalist society. In addition, feminism continues to show society its capability and its continued determination for change.
Despite the enormous positive outcomes of feminism, there are negative stereotypes that impact feminism. I remember growing up as a younger girl, trying to figure out what feminism meant to me was a battle. I grew up in a household with two sisters and my grandparents. We were consistently reminded that we all had the capability to do whatever we desired and being a female was celebrated. The belief in social, political, and economic equality of the sexes, and the idea to challenge the systemic inequalities women face daily was valued within my household. Being a feminist was something that naturally became a part of my identity. However, calling myself a feminist was something hard to proclaim publicly. How could I grow up in such an inclusive environment that celebrated feminism yet struggled to call myself one? Although women’s rights and equality are a movement supported by my family and me, it also comes with its stereotypes. Feminists are stereotypically known to hate men, be angry, are unattractive and not feminine, are all pro-choice, against religion, do not support stay-at-home moms, and can only be women. These were labels I didn’t identify as and the reason I had difficulty being vocal about feminism. The fixation that feminists are selfish, or anti-man ruins the reputation of feminists but more importantly is a distraction from the fundamental issues. The anti-man label is either a smear or a misunderstanding and strays away from the real purpose of feminism.
In conclusion, feminism has started the conversation of inequality, it has created a path for political change, however, it comes with a stigmatized ideology that is false and degrading. Feminism has made me recognized its significance. To me it is the essence of new beginnings, as it started the conversation, it is a symbol of significant change, and it is a movement that is still in need of development. Although feminism has had remarkable outcomes for women’s rights, I believe that there is still a need for change. Feminism has evolved over time and continues to do so. This is hopeful in itself since without evolution and change progress is impossible.
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