Why is Feminism So Hard to Understand? (Blog #5, by Evan Quinones)

In yesterday’s class, we talked in depth about feminism and the true meaning behind the controversial word. We talked about how the word itself is a controversial one because many different people, and subsequently, many different groups of people, have interpreted the meaning of the word in many different ways. For me personally, the meaning of the world is simple: total and equal rights for women in regards to politics, social issues, and economic status as men are afforded. However, because of the media and powerful public figures, the interpretation of being a feminist has categorized such individuals as being haters of men or traditional values and beliefs. The misconception is that only women can be feminist being that the whole idea is to fight for equal rights for women. However, as we saw with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a number of other MALE celebrities and public figures, men can also be feminists. I definitely consider myself a feminist. I genuinely believe that women should be afforded the same rights as men. I am a man and being a feminist does not mean I hate men in any way. It just means that we are living in a time period where women are able and capable of doing so much more than just sit at home, cook, clean, watch children, etc. Women are college educated, business owners, and politicians, just like men. However, it is unfortunate that we continue to live in a period where women are doing the same amount of work as men, even at better quality in many cases, but are still being paid less than men. I believe, that as one of the richest and most democratically free nations on the planet, we can afford to allow women the exact same rights as men. There should be no division. My question is: how do you feel about the word feminism and why do you think it is such a controversial word? Do you agree with me that the media is to blame for this or is it an entirely different force that is affecting the way society is viewing and interpreting the word?

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3 thoughts on “Why is Feminism So Hard to Understand? (Blog #5, by Evan Quinones)

  1. Hi Evan,

    Interesting blog post! I agree that a lot of people assume that only women can be feminist, which of course, is completely false. I think it’s important for feminist men to use their male privilege to fight for the movement and for women who are suppressed. To me, the word feminism just means equal rights between men and women. I agree with you that the media is to blame for many of the misconceptions revolving the word feminism. However, in my opinion, having a problem with the word essentially means that you a have a problem with women in general. Some people don’t want to identity with a word associated with women because they don’t want to acknowledge that women are disadvantaged or change that fact. These people may be attached to tradition, afraid to admit their privilege, or brainwashed by anti-feminist propaganda. Others think it’s “unfair” that a movement that is supposed to fight for gender equality has a feminine connotation. I think this is ridiculous considering all the words that have a masculine connotation, such as “bachelor’s degree.” I once came across a funny tweet that read: ” You can’t be annoyed with feminism being called feminism, when the entire history of human race is called MANkind.”

    //Kristia Megan Junglander

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  2. Comment #3: I think most of the people (including me) have a negative associations with the word “feminism” unconsciously and because of not really understanding its meaning. In their minds it associates with “rebel”, “disorder” and something outside the old norm, which makes people uncomfortable to come out of their comfort zone and change the old rules where women did not have a right to vote and stayed home with the kids. And I think it is media to blame for our perception of this word… Years ago I was watching an american romantic comedy that I don’t remember the name now, but one scene stocked into my mind. The man did not want his ex-wife to date anyone after they broke up because he loved her. They had to live together, so one day when his wife’s date man came he asked “what are your plans for tonight?” The man said that he is planning to take her to the restaurant and for a walk. So her husband said, “she is…you know….very independent…she is one of those feminists, so do not show her that you are a man, she doesn’t like it “. So, in the next scene they are sitting in the restaurant and he pays only for himself and then they ride in the cab and when it stops the man comes out and waits for her on the sidewalk, while she has to pay for the cab and open the door for herself. She never went out with this guy again, but I remember watching and wondering “Is this what feminism is?” and “who would enjoy such disrespect from a man?” Apparently, the filmmakers wanted to portray feminism in a way that would make us reject it as something not normal and what we would not want to have in our lives.

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  3. Comment #2: I completely agree with you Evan! You would think that as time goes on,things will change with the outlook on certain things especially when it comes to equality. I also think it is odd that people have that mind set where people “should or should not be”. Feminism is a beautiful thing and I think it is important to have the knowledge and what it means to be a feminist and the value of feminism. If more people understand the true meaning of feminism, the world will be a better place- not just for women, but for men as well.
    – Kenya

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