Feminism Against Women?

feminism
Feminism is dead! Long live inequality! These are some of the mantras that one might see, viewing the latest viral social media. Reading these, it would seem that feminism is an old idea and in fact, against the equality of men and women.

Young women and girls are speaking out against what they say are the trappings of feminism. They do not want to be boxed into a stereotype. They express that certain beliefs encourage those stereotypes.

Why the recent backlash apparently against the historical strides? Long-time feminists ask if young people have forgotten the past, and what has allowed them the freedom that they currently enjoy?

What seems to be at the heart of the recent uproar is resistance to perpetual anger. Some say that this smacks of militantism.

What is, in fact, the heart of feminism? What are the principles of the original movement and how have they evolved over time? Some young women and girls are speaking out, saying that feminism is not against women.

They are expressing themselves along the lines of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. That is, they are campaigning for education and the rights of women and girls for freedom against violence.

Teenagers as young as 14 say that a man smacking his lips as they walk by disgusts them. They do not feel empowered by this behavior. They say that this can lead to violence against women and girls.

Moreover, these teenagers assert that females should be able to dress in any way that they want without receiving unwanted negative attention. After all, boys and men can walk around without a shirt when the weather is hot and this is not called “provocative.” These teens say that their behavior must be curtailed because the men cannot control themselves.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke last week on his country’s Independence Day regarding the trend towards violence against women. The India National Crime Records Bureau (2013) states that every 20 minutes a woman is raped in public places within developed cities in India. However, the majority of rapes go unreported because the victims fear both stigma and rejection by their families. Therefore, this number reflects those rapes reported, and of those, conviction is rare.

The prime minister called to action boys and men to step up as spiritual brothers to stop the violence in India. He asked parents to account for their son’s actions before violence is committed, as well as for their daughters’ whereabouts.

feminism

Violence against women is not isolated to Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). In the U.S., women hatred (misogyny) is both rampant and insidious. That is, it is hidden in ways that make it seem a “normal” part of society, including at home and at work. It only becomes newsworthy when a line is crossed.

That line is crossed far too often. In the U.S. every year 1,500 women are murdered by husbands and boyfriends. A minimum of 20 percent of all college women are sexually assaulted while students. Those who speak out get targeted for doing so.

What is the true meaning of feminism? Is the concept old-fashioned, past its prime? Or, is a new horizon dawning, in which women worldwide are claiming their place in a world without violence against them, and with the aspiration of freedom to fulfill their dreams? Is feminism against women, or is it being redefined?

Opinion by Fern Remedi-Brown

Previous articles by the author on feminism, education, and women’s rights:
Hillary Clinton Finds Her Brand
Celebrating International Women’s Day 2014
Iraq Children Lose Their Innocence to Marriage
Hobby Lobby Investment Angers Liberals Anew
Boko Haram and Malala Visit Provoke Nigerian President

Sources:
BBC News Magazine
Guardian Liberty Voice
Think Progress
Forbes
Time, Opinion
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
Time, Opinion
Photo Courtesy of Kuba Bożanowski – license

3 Responses to "Feminism Against Women?"

  1. Joe   October 25, 2014 at 6:19 am

    “In the U.S., women hatred (misogyny) is both rampant and insidious.”
    —LOL. Sure. I’m betting that if I look up the definitions to ‘rampant’ and ‘insidious’ that ‘rampant insidiousness’ is an oxymoron.

    “Opinion by Fern Remedi-Brown”
    —yeah, this article is your OPINION. Everybody has an opinion.

    Reply
  2. liza   August 24, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Miles, better if women speak from us…

    Reply
  3. Miles   August 21, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Feminism is for people who suffer an inferiority complex and have a biased interest in the plight of women, more so than for all humans.
    It shouts down and slurs anybody who dislikes it. It falsely claims to represent all women, when really it can only just represent feminists.
    Its used by pro lifers for their cause as much as pro choicers.
    Its used by women who find the concept of slutwalk disgusting and wrong as well as those who feel they have a right to wear what they want with zero consequence.
    Feminism is a diluted movement which is killing itself with inhouse fighting as well as the common perception that it shouts at and insults anybody who disagree’s with it and wants to have no part of it.
    One fact needs to be acknowledged which cannot be argued by feminists and that is; Feminism does NOT represent ALL women.
    Quite frankly there is alot of claims made in feminism which are highly debateable and healthy to not agree with.

    Reply

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