Feminism under fire


BBC.com is one of the online news sources in my news circuit. I saw a story this morning about women against feminism. Huh? I tried to keep an open mind as I clicked play to watch the video part of the story.

There were women stating that we didn’t need feminism any more, that it is toxic, that women don’t need to hate men to pursue their ambitions.

Okay, I kind of understand where they are coming from. There are some radical feminists that seem to get press every time something controversial that affects women’s health, equal pay, and so on pops up in the news.

Are they really radical, or are they the women who continue to recognize that even today there is still not gender equality?

Well, is there? I don’t think so.

If we had gender equality, there would be family-friendly policies in place for moms and dads who work outside the home, rooms for nursing moms who need to pump while at work, flexible work hours and built-in family leave for fathers.

If we had gender equality, women wouldn’t make less than men for the same job. Sorry, but this is documented. Pay equality is an issue. Deniers can say it isn’t so, but facts and figures support the claim.

Has anyone even considered what women give up to stay home with their children? No social security earnings, no retirement protection, little legal protection should the earning husband abandon her. It is like the dark ages legally and financially for women.

The only way for women to be protected is IF they work outside the home and have their own separate income, kept apart from their husbands.

1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted.

That is some serious hatred there. Yes, rape is a hate crime against women.

How many of these anti-feminists spend time scouring news sites, reading comments to articles? I read comments by men who still think women should be silent, pregnant, and in the kitchen and certainly not bothering their pretty little selves about the big, bad world. Granted, the generation of men who spout this crap will eventually die out, but what about the men that they raised?

Feminism is not a movement or a set of behavioral guidelines. Feminism means equality for women, plain and simple. So anti-feminism means . . . what? They are against equality? Really?

Merriam-Webster defines feminism as 1. “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities;” and 2. “organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests.”

Because I am fairly intelligent, I surmise that these anti-feminists are objecting to the second definition of the word. They take issue with the organized feminist movement that lobbies and actively fights for a political and social agenda that benefits women. I don’t agree with every tenet of the organized movement myself, but I certainly do not oppose it, either.

And the idea that demanding equal rights means that men lose rights is ludicrous. It does mean that they must adjust their workplace behavior to include women. This means that good ‘ole boy club atmosphere must be relegated to the men-only clubs. It doesn’t belong in any workplace.

I learned the hard way that any woman that surrenders her financial independence to stay home and raise children, care for the home, and support her husband’s career is taking a risk. This is a sad truth in our modern, enlightened society.

Are most feminists man-haters? I think not. Opposing entrenched ideas that stand in the way of an egalitarian society does not equal hate. It means they oppose unfair ideologies and practices that continue to keep women from having equal access and opportunity to pursue their dreams.

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