What is Feminism?

This is a legitimate question.

When I was little, I associated the word feminist with a very girly-girl. And I wanted to be one. I envisioned pink hair ribbons and curls, sparkly jewels and high-heeled shoes.

This may sound like a farce, but throughout my life, all I’ve ever learned about feminism came from abstract references made my persons in the midst of an argument. In my childhood home, it was never directly addressed, but I seem to recall that it was spoken like a dirty word. Something you weren’t supposed to want to be.

And being that I am all grown up, with a family of my own, and am short on the strong female presence in my daily life (Not counting family. Love you, Mom!)I find myself asking this question and hoping for an honest answer. Because the label, as with so many others, seems to devalue and mislead the intention behind it.

Wikipedia defines the feminist movement as follows:

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women.[1][2] This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

Then, there is this:

It’s a few years old, but it got me wondering.

And This:

As we all know, the passage of time and our world and political views affect the way we think. And I can research all I want about this, but nothing I dig up in the archives of the internet is going to tell me what it is like, what it means to live by this set of mysterious values. So I am wondering, in this day and age, considering how far the movement of feminism has come since birth, what does it really mean to be a feminist?

Are there rules? Does it have to define your political affiliations? Can you be Pro-life, and a feminist? Can you be a stay-at-home mom?

I want answers beyond the stereo-types. I want the truth.

So, if all you wonderful people out there would like to post your opinions in the comment section, I would be most grateful for the education.

17 thoughts on “What is Feminism?

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  4. Linda Thatcher

    I saw feminists back in the day. I think they were not just free thinkers but they were overtly agressive against anyone who didn’t believe the way they did. I didn’t like what I heard because I wasn’t as passionate as they about their beliefs. I just saw bullies in a dress. I believe that women SHOULD get their fair share in the workplace and in life. Tho’ the approach was distasteful to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that’s the impression that’s stuck with me, though I don’t remember ever being involved in those discussions.
      I think it’s because I was nosey.


  5. As a male, I always have trepidations about commenting on issues specifically female related. On this one though, I think I can say I believe a feminist is one concerned with the equality of opportunity (defined as education, employment, advancement, pay, respect, and dignity) regardless of gender. This means being watchful in the workplace and elsewhere for those signs of inequality and being brave enough to speak up. This bravery has no gender wall either.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Exactly! He would be perfect! Perhaps you could ask him and he would comment at his blog on this as well? There are still men in my neck of the woods here who believe a woman’s place is in the kitchen and the bedroom. They don’t want the wifey working public work or out without them. It’s really demeaning in my opinion. But there are men that still think this way. It’s 2014 for crying out loud! 😩

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m very curious as well. Maybe Jared himself will pop in and explain. I’m thinking the definition would vary between the sexes though. What a man may think are legitimate issues for today’s woman may not be the same list of issues from the woman at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy, you are right that it no longer means what it once did. At least here in the states. Some middle eastern countries seem to still be set back 50 years (or more) where treatment of women is concerned.
    My 15 year old daughter despised the term ‘feminist’ and says that it really doesn’t exist anymore. Maybe she is right. With all the advancements in society, seeing women flaunt their ‘assets’ and offer very little verbiage to offset the image that they are nothing but sexual beings…it’s either going to set us back or eliminate that fine line altogether. On the other hand, women who DO speak out and prove to the world that they have a brain, are often labeled and ridiculed as liberal blow hards and are seldom taken seriously by anyone other than other liberal thinking people. The young woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize for example. Would you consider her a feminist? A vehicle for the rights and hopes of women’s rights in her country? But taken seriously IN her country? Te rest of the world is ready to embrace her while her own country wants to silence her.
    The more I think about this Amy, the more undecided I am on the subject myself.
    I work, but from home. I raise my children and I don’t have a nanny do it for me. I am a wife who is obedient to her husband. I have a carry and conceal permit. I raise a garden and can and put up food for the winter. I attend church every Sunday. I go toe to toe in political BS debates and I have an opinion about most everything. I don’t consider myself a feminist at all. I’m interested in other replies that you receive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is my exact point. It seems there is no definition available to us in modern society. Except maybe the Nobel Prize Winner yo mentioned.
      There are so many people who say they are feminists (Jared Leto & Rhianna come to mind) in one breath, and then feed the stereotypes and objectify themselves or others in the next.
      I identify with you, in that I am a mom who works from home, I am a mostly obedient wife. I don’t carry or conceal, but probably should. I garden, but kill most everything so there’s nothing put up for winter, but I’m just a few blocks away from a grocery store and farmers market.
      I really hope I get lots of explanations because I am very interested in how women who consider themselves feminists would define it.

      Liked by 1 person

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