Updated: Mar 2
Does anyone still remember the ideas of Feminism?
What do you think feminism is?
Is it the power of women? Is it the idea that the woman should rule over men, "tame" men, be above men?
Could it be that because I consider myself a feminist, I can't, as a woman, let a man open the car door for me or pull out a chair for me to sit in?
Let's go back to the original idea and try to understand Feminism effectively.
I believe that with a deeper look we can all become feminists, men and women (speaking from the point of view of biological sex).
Feminism seems to be an idea with a lot of common sense. Consider the definition that Wikipedia presents:
Feminism is a set of political, social, ideologies and philosophies that have as a common goal: equal rights and a human experience through female empowerment, women's rights and liberation from patriarchal patterns based on gender norms. It involves several movements, theories and philosophies that defend equality between men and women, in addition to promoting women's rights and interests.
When and how did the ideas of feminism get so distorted? It seems that we have all forgotten this initial conception and feminism has become a scary "bad beast" that only includes processions of women who refuse to shave demanding more rights screaming in the street.
Feminism is much more than that and it is necessary for us to ensure equal rights for men and women today.
Let's analyze some quick data:
In the European Union, women earn, on average, 16.2% less than men.
In 2013, in order to earn the same as men earned in 2012, women, on average, would have to work 59 extra days, that is, exactly until February 28, 2013.
In Portugal, women earn, on average, 18% less than men.
The wage inequality between women and men in Portugal is larger the higher the qualification level. This inequality is particularly pronounced in the category of senior management, in which the women earn 28.2% less than men in terms of average base pay.
Do you still think that Feminism is not useful or important, that it no longer makes sense to think about these issues and fight for equality?
Three Feminism waves:
Until the 1960s
From 1960 to 1980
From 1980 to today
Different types of feminism:
We can see that there are several currents of Feminism and Radical Feminism is just one of them among many.
Radical feminism emphasizes the differences between men and women, but underlining the inequality of power and the hierarchy that result from these differences. It emphasises the State as a patriarchal entity and necessarily oppressor of women, arguing that the field of struggle must necessarily be in civil society. The state is always masculine in a feminist perspective and, therefore, any state policy, including legislation, will translate, more or less subtly, forms of subordination of women.
This position of Radical Feminism is what implies that attitudes are more "violent" from the social point of view, that there is more anger, more voice to demand the change of State policies. These attitudes can often be misunderstood and seen as female "hysterism" altogether.
Liberal feminists consider women to be as rational as men, but they are confined to the private sphere. They argue that equality means equal opportunity between men and women so that these are in a position, like men, to make rational choices that are in their best interest. They have a friendlier approach to the state.
Do you now feel better able to analyze the issues of Feminism in an informed way?
We are very quick to judge when we only have part of the information and this can lead to misperceptions and dangerous social and political attitudes and positions.
I hope I helped make a feminist out of you :)