The New Meaning of Feminism 

Maggie Collins

Senior Staff Writer

Feminism has become a term that is extremely controversial. When you look up the definition of feminism you will get varying answers, but many will allude to the same concept—equal rights for both men and women. Feminism was first started many years ago as a movement for women to get equal rights such as being able to vote, get jobs outside of the house, become more independent, etc.

Women now have more rights than we did years ago, and we have been able to accomplish many things. When people hear feminism today, many of them think of angry and forceful women of the past. This , as well as other misinterpretations, can cause people to shy away from feminism. 

It is common for men and even women to see feminism as a movement that is targeted to bring down men or enable women to control the world. This would cause men to eventually be put in the same position that women were in the past. Their rights would be limited and they would be viewed as lesser than women in society. I think that feminism has gotten a bad reputation, and is misinterpreted through many sources. 

Feminism is a movement that was created for women to have equal rights with men and to not be treated less than or invaluable to society. However, it has grown from that to encompass many more values. Feminism is now an idea of equality for both genders. Women should not be treated as less than men, and men should not be treated as less than women. 

PC: Medium

Women no longer have to be accompanied by a male when leaving the house, and they no longer have to fight for the right to vote. Therefore, we as women can now fight for more. We are fighting for men and women to be seen as equals and have the same opportunities in life. Feminism is not limited to just advocating for women. 

While there are still innumerable instances where women have lost out on opportunities or are seen as less, men are dealing with the same issues. Men can be seen as not being able to have emotions or only having “manly” attributes. When feminism is misinterpreted it can cause people to back away from the fight for equal rights for all genders, not just rights for women. 

I personally work at a hardware store and have encountered many sexist comments. I can’t count the number of times that someone has overlooked me to ask a male employee a question. People have mentioned that they are surprised that I know how to find the right size screw for them when a male employee couldn’t. I have been asked by customers to go get someone else to help them because they assume I won’t know what they are talking about. Why is it that because I am a woman, I am any less capable than a man to help someone in a hardware store? Why is a man stereotyped to know more about things to do with hardware stores? What is different about our capabilities based on our gender?

When we as a society can get to a place where we stop focusing on specific genders being “better” or “more qualified” for something, we can reach a point where we no longer have to fight separately for men and women. Feminism is a fight for both men and women because both genders want to be seen as capable of the same things. One gender should not have to give up their rights in order for the other gender to have the same rights. 

We should be fighting for equality for each other. Men and women alike are able to do the same things. Someone’s gender should not determine if they are qualified for a mechanic job, or if they can speak out about their mental health and not be judged for it. While women and men are two different genders, each individual is capable of a number of different things, and that should not degrade or enhance our value more than the other gender. 

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