Latin: femina (means: woman)
Feminism is the struggle of both (wo)men for equal rights and treatment of women. Feminists oppose sexism, specifically how it relates to women.
Traditions, in many places in the world, dictate that a woman's primary function in society is to be an "obedient" and nurturing wife and mother. Feminists feel that a woman should not be limited by these options. Instead of being 'protected' by males, feminists prefer to stand up for themselves and handle their own life instead of being dependant on, for example, their partner.
In Western society, men tend to take the dominant role in business, politics and the media. Feminists attempt to be the voice for a silent majority of women. Their opinions can be radically liberal and, as they disturb the social norm, many conservative and fundamentalists (in various religions) lash out at the �destruction of traditional family values.�
Following are a few ideas and social issues which feminists face, and fight against.
(This list is not exhaustive)
- Harassment at work (sexual or otherwise),
- Financial glass ceiling.
- Being passed up for jobs/ promotions by (sometimes less qualified) men.
- Being treated as a non-technical luser.
- Being seen as a sex object.
- In some places, still not having a vote in a 'democratic' society.
- Societal pressure to marry and have children.
- Do not have the right to govern her own sexuality or body.
- ...and other forms of discrimination.
For many feminists, gender equality is not sufficient. Rather, they seek to have society value traditionally "feminine" modes of thought and action as highly as it does the traditionally "masculine."
Often, people feel threatened by feminists, or even simply the word alone scares them. Some stereotypes include Feminists:
- Hate men
- Are lesbians
- Are all pro-choice
- Wish to censor or ban pornography
While these may apply to some radical? feminists, certainly it does not apply to all. Other fairytales include that a man cannot be feminist or cannot exhibit solidarity with feminists. Feminism seeks equal standing for women in the community. Feminists fight for sexual freedom, political voice and equal opportunities in the work place. Anyone with these same goals exhibits feminist ideology.