It is unacceptable that women in the 21st century still feel so inferior to men that they explore the idea that feminism is misleading. Women should not have to justify feminism as positive for both genders for it to be an actual movement or for their argument to be validated. The belief that feminism strays from its definition of socio-political and economic equality for both men and women due to its root “fem” and therefore focus on women is, for a lack of a better adjective, sad.
I hate to be that person who references the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to justify my position, but I did so intentionally. A school of thought can be confusing and sometimes demonized, with communism being a clear case of this. Taking the root of the word as an example, we discover that it derives from communist, or, as described by Lacan, “people having in common a property belonging to the category of main morte — that is, not being submitted to the law of heritage.” The root of the word exemplifies the communist movement’s most primary meaning, and the case for feminism is the same.
The creation of the word and spark of the movement lay with the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the United States during the 1900s in which women fought mainly for their right to, as citizens, vote. With “ism” being a doctrine, or even a cause, and the movement originating from women advocating for their citizen right to have their voices heard, it is only logical for the moment to take rise as the doctrine of females, feminism. It is frustrating and upsetting that semantics lead women to attempt to unconsciously invalidate the movement.
We women are entitled to have something for ourselves, even if the definition of the word itself claims otherwise. Women have been systematically oppressed for their entire lives simply due to their reproductive organs. Men have shamed us and kept us from entering their more privileged world. Perhaps due to a repressed fear of the loss of domination, or perhaps due to sheer superiority complex. Femininity has been historically associated with weakness, and we women have never represented strength, until now.
To argue that there even exists the possibility of discriminating against men based on their gender is utter ignorance. The stereotyping of the manly-macho man being as the default male is problematic but not discrimination. Once a baby is born with the Y chromosome, they are not belittled. Men are the gender in power; they will never be seen as powerless when in comparison to others for being born male. Feminism does wish to bring down the patriarchy, but not to create a matriarchy. So, no, the name of the movement is not misleading, as it stands for exactly what it preaches, but it would be far more powerful if women were to embrace it and stop looking for ways to make it about men. We don’t need their validation for a movement that is ours. We have each other’s.
Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them. Email Giovanna Trabasso at [email protected]