Spell Feminism

Can I have the definition please?

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What words comes to mind when you hear the word “feminism”?

By Mario Rodriguez , Staff Writer

Feminism is pretty confusing. Some say it’s a fight for equality of all people. Some say it’s a fight for equality for disadvantaged people such people of color, LGBTQ*, and women. And, others, mostly men, call themselves Feminist because they think it looks cool. With the constant defining and redefining of Feminism, I can’t help but be confused.

What is Feminism?

No really, somebody tell me. I am lost.

Recently, I watched a male and a female argue about Feminism for three hours. The strange thing was that by the end of the debate, both of them changed the way they defined the movement. For an outsider looking in, this shows that either they weren’t dedicated to their cause, or they were confused as to what the cause was in the first place. Since there is a lot of passion surrounding Feminism, it is more likely that the actual problem is the latter.

           by the end of the debate, both of them changed the way they defined the movement. For an outsider looking in, this shows that either they weren’t dedicated to their cause, or they were confused as to what the cause was in the first place”

This problem is the basis of why the modern Feminist movement makes very little tangible change in many key areas. Before I get crucified, let me clarify. The Feminist movement has made the general population realize that women should have equal pay, led to more acceptance of the LGBTQ community, and create support for a women’s ability to control her body (i.e. the use of contraception and abortion).

However, one look at society gives us insight into how modern Feminism is failing to make tangible change. Women still receive a disproportionately low income compared to men, people in the LGBTQ community have the highest rates of poverty of any demographic (not to mention gay marriage is still illegal in 13 states), and women who use contraceptives or get an abortion are still heavily stigmatized by both women and men. How can a movement that has so many followers fail to make changes in the areas they care about most?

It’s simple. The movement has core values, but no set way to implement them. People talk about “your” feminism and “my” feminism, and this is a problem. In comparison, the civil rights movement means one thing – the movement for social and political equality of citizens. There was no debate on what the civil rights movement was, and it did not differ based on who you asked.

The simple solution is to create an organized movement where the goal is clearly defined. Fighting for equality for all is a noble and virtuous cause, but if people go out and fight for equality in random, sporadic methods, the movement becomes muddled and ineffective.

As long as Feminism is treated as an ideology, rather than the socio-political movement it is, the appropriate change is virtually impossible.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning individuals