So last week, we looked at the basic building blocks of the ideology ‘feminism’. This week, I thought it would be great to start exploring why exactly does society and mainstream media hate feminism?
Well, for starters, let’s vaguely remember the definition of feminism; “the advocacy of women’s and men’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes, the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. The doctrine advocates social, political and all other rights of women equal to those of men,” according to Forbes.
In 2019, I wrote a blog post titled, ‘Feminism; The Word That Broke the World’. I talked about what feminism is and the multitude of intergenerational effects the word has had on society since it was first introduced. I wrote: “Feminism at its core is about the equality of men and women, not sameness.” I usually get asked: “So if women and men are the same, does that mean I can hit a woman?”
A lot of people love to bring up the argument that men and women are not the same, physically and mentally. So because of that, there cannot be equality. Basically, their main argument is that because our bodies are different—smaller or weaker than men and because women and men have different physical capabilities— i.e. women were built to withstand more physical pain or men are built stronger to partake in heavy duty activities, means that equality is not possible due to these factors.
I have noted that toxic masculinity and gender roles have a huge part to play in these perceptions. Men have been raised to be strong, fighters and providers. So, being the ‘same’ as women goes against everything they have been categorically taught their whole lives. That is why men who are deemed as ‘feminine’ or who openly show their emotions, i.e. crying in public are labelled as weak or too feminine. The same goes for women. They have been taught their whole lives to be quiet, caring, soft, not too loud and to follow. That is why when you see women being outspoken, argumentative or even involved in things that are deemed as too ‘manly’ such as sports or physically demanding jobs such as plumbing or engineering, they are labelled as ‘rogue’ or ‘tomboys’. All this because of the roles we have been taught our entire lives. So when an idea comes about that tips the balance of these roles, yes, it is only natural for people to fight it.
However, it is important to understand that same does not mean equal and the main issue feminists are supposed to be voicing out is about equal rights and equal access to opportunities for both women and men.
Men and women don’t have to be the same in physicality to have the right to equality. I would love to see the argument that women and men aren’t the same so they can’t be equal disappear forever. n