Feminism is defined as theadvocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes. This meansthat men and woman should be seen as equals and have the same rights socially,economically, politically and financially. The beginning of the feministmovement began in 1848 in America and has continued to grow worldwide over theyears. Woman have slowly began to become equal to men by gaining the rights tovote, work in fields of their choice, choose their own husbands and many more.
Thishas been achieved by a number of acts, protests and debates over the years.The first movement for women’s equalitystarted in the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th. The second movement,where feminism was truly given a name, began in the ’60s and lasted until the’80s. Modern day feminism began in the ’90s and is still going on today.
Thereare some people who believe that because women earned the right to vote, theirfight for equality is over. Recently I’ve noticed in classes, social media andcasual conversation that feminism is still not taken seriously. Althoughwe’ve come a long way since the 1800s, the need for social justice will neverbe over until people of all genders: man, woman or somewhere within thespectrum, receive the same rights. Just in case you weren’t aware, we stillhave a long way to go until we’re all seen as equal. In 1975 the UK created thesex discrimination act. This is a piece of legislation that promotes equalrights and prosecutes those who do not follow them.
This was then updated andincluded in the equality act of 2010 which ensures; fair rights within any formof contractual relationship whether it be employment, renting and purchasing ofproperties or any other services or products and many other day to dayactivities that are taken granted for today. However this act is specificallydesigned for the UK, and some other countries have similar pieces of legislationbut many countries have no legislation in place. Many of these countries who dohave legislation in place can be seen as powerful countries such as China,America and the UK.
By these countries promoting equality and showing thebenefits to the country itself from having equality, it can encourage othercountries to follow suit. This equality act 2010 is also put into placeto close the pay gap between men and woman. Unequal pay has been illegal forover 45 years. Yet the current UK pay gap is just over 18%, which may be thelowest ever but still isn’t equal. However causes of this pay gap can be due towoman choosing occupation that offer less financial stability.
It can also becaused by many women choose to work part-time to fit in with other lifecommitements such as looking after their children to save child care costs. Thepay gap can be equalised by a number of factors. These can includeorganisations offering flexiable working practices, offering free child careand encouraging females to consider all options for careers not just the jobsthat are perceived to be for woman. Perception has a large part to play in thepay gap as perceived to be normal for a woman to work less to care for childrenand a man to bring in the money.
Where as if this was the opposite way aroundit would be seen as being strange and can often be frowned upon. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-gender-pay-gap2. Violence Against WomenIn 1993, the United Nations General Assemblydeclared the elimination of violence against women. In modern day, one in threewomen are victims of physical and sexual violence often committed by intimatepartners.
These statistics are higher in countries where women are treated andseen as property to their husbands. The UN also found that women of minorities(including sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability status) were more likelyto experience some form of violence. 3. Rape CultureRape culture describes an idea that a societyor culture normalizes and excuses sexual violence.
This is perpetuated whenuniversities allow fraternities to remain on campus despite chants thatencourage sex without consent or signs asking fathers to drop off theirfreshmen daughtersat their houses. Blaming the victims of sexual assault and asking themwhat they were wearing are also examples of rape culture. The belief becomesfurther embedded in our society through pop music lyrics and rape jokes withoutanyone correcting what is being said.Like Odyssey on Facebook 4. Dress CodesIn 2015, young women used social media totheir advantage to expose the sexist nature of their schools.
Many posts wentviral, showing what the young girl was wearing and why she was asked to change.Girls wearing skirts deemed too short, dresses seen as too sexy and tops too distractingwere all discriminated and shamed. It’s important to realize that the issueisn’t with what the girls are wearing but with the over sexualization ofwomen’s bodies. In hot summer months, girls are wearing shorts in order to staycomfortable, not to distracttheir male classmates. A shoulder or bra strap showing should not beseen as inappropriate.
Girls should have the freedom to wear what is comfortableto them in the same way that their male peers do. Sending them home because oftheir clothing reiterates the idea that a man’s education is more important andthe woman is at fault for being “distracting”. The girls are not theproblem. The problem is sexualizing the bodies of young women.
5. Reproductive JusticeRepublicans have attempted to defund PlannedParenthood in an effort to control the reproductive rights of women. As aresult, there have been mixed reactions– feelings of hostility and supporttowards the organization. While some have chosen to enact deadly attackson the company, others stand in solidarity with it. Many people don’trealize that abortions are a small percentage of what Planned Parenthood does.
They also perform breast exams, give STD/STI/HIV tests, prescribe birthcontrol, etc. It shouldn’t be anyone’s decision except for the woman it affectsto make a choice regarding her body. Laws need to protect the rights of womento have freedom over their bodies in the way that men have control over theirs. 6. AdvertisementsMainstream media constantly bombards us withimages for products and services. Most of these are targeted at womenencouraging us to better ourselves or pick at our flaws.
Generally, we seethin, white women and are taught that this is what the ideal body looks like.Other ads depict violence towards women that can be overlooked due to thesubtle nature. Often, we blame women for developing eating disorders and lowself-esteem, but they’re just victims of social norms. Despite what somebelieve, women don’t choose to have low self-esteem. They don’t choose to haveeating disorders.
Advertisements in our culture are based on patriarchal viewsthat diminish and objectify women. 7. MeninismIn order to combat feminism,”meninism” sparked up.
This belief degrades feminists and fights formen’s equality…
because that makes sense? First, it’s important to understandthat feminism is the belief that men and women should be equal. It isn’tabout getting women ahead of men; it’s making sure that everyone has equalopportunities. Meninism stands for the liberation of men. Last time I checked,our culture follows patriarchal ideals which in turn, means that men arealready ahead. What’s even worse is the women who support meninism claimingthat we already have equal rights and no longer need feminism. Basically,meninism is actually the worst.