History of Feminism

Historically, women did not have equal rights to men. For example, the primary role of the female was conducting domestic chores. Men had higher rights in proudly owning property and taking responsibility for the house. Apart from the domestic setting, women lacked the issue of equality in the political environment. Men vied for the legislative seats while the women held the smaller roles in the society. The distinction between the roles of guys and women relied on the different sexes and not the tutorial or professional skills of the individual. Feminism is a collective effort by the social businesses to push for equality for both genders. Gender oppression is the primary reason for the unbalanced economic and professional abilities between the genders. Advocating for equality seeks to eliminate the differences and offer both sexes an equal opportunity to thrive.

Defining feminism from a historical perspective concentrated on the rights of women. The female gender underwent many challenges, which the male fraternity did not. For example, the African culture did not consider the woman as fit for education. The argument was that the woman would stay at home and conduct domestic chores. The historical definition of feminism aimed at eliminating the discrimination subjected to the women. Due to lack of education, the women remained below the men at all times. Similarly, most organizations prioritized the men when it came to professional promotions. The management of organizations gave the women the lower roles while the men undertook the higher duties with better remuneration. Therefore, feminism was a term that fought for the rights of women in achieving equality to men in all aspects of life within the society (Keetley and John 284).

The passage of time witnessed the evolution feminism from fighting for the rights of women to concentrating on both genders. Initially, the movement aimed at raising the status of women to a similar level to that of men by creating an awareness that eliminated discrimination against women. The original definition of the terms was uplifting the political, economic and social status of women to achieve similar levels to that of the men. Women were the leaders as well as the members of the team since the men objected to the objectives of the groups. Years after the formation of the movement, the focus of the group refrained from the gender biased objectives to cover the needs of both men and women. The current and updated version considers raising the status of the oppressed gender from both sides without any discrimination.

The association of feminism with fighting for the rights of women is no longer valid. In the current setting, the status of women is not the same as before. Initially, women could not hold senior positions in organizations or be in charge of a team with men as the subordinates. The evolution of the definition is in line with the changing status of men and women in the society. For example, in the general elections in the United States last year, the presidential candidate for the Democrats was a woman. Women can fight for the highest offices in the world. The chance to vie for the presidency communicates the massive success of the movement in empowering women and giving them the opportunity to attain an equal status to achieve a similar status to that of men. Therefore, the feminist movement that focused on women was successful in raising the status of women and motivating them to attain their full potential.

One misconception of the term feminism is hatred towards men (McCann and Kim 285). It is a common perception that the movement considers the men as the reason behind the predicaments undergone by the women. The ideology is not true. Men have been instrumental in supporting the movement financially as well as helping in raising awareness for the group. Creating the view that feminist groups fight against the men is a wrong perception of the truth. If the group were a fighting platform between the men and the women, none of the men would take an active role in helping the group to stabilize and fulfill their objectives. Feminist movements focus on the individual status of men and women. Both genders are beneficiaries of the movement. Hence, the misconception is a deviation of the truth and an alteration of the primary policies of the group.

A second misconception is the perception that attaining equality means that the women will abandon their domestic roles and push the roles to their male counterparts. Feminist movements do not seek to ruin the families of their members. There are specific roles in the house associated with the respective members of the home. Therefore, women empowerment should not be a subject of running the family ties at home. If the empowered individual is a woman, she will continue undertaking her domestic duties such as taking care of the children (Alcoff and Eva 86). The primary focus of feminist movements is to eliminate oppression of women in the society, which leads to economic and political inequality. Therefore, the misconception that the movement will alter the historical and domestic duties of either gender is wrong. Economic, social and political empowerment does not risk the alteration of roles at any instance.

If the term feminism were to focus on empowering women alone, the movement would be propagating the same discrimination it is trying to eliminate. In the modern world, there are people who are transgender. Such people face the highest form of discrimination due to their marginalized conditions. Therefore, feminists would be fighting against the marginalization of women and discriminating against this group. Thus, the movement does not base their actions on the gender inclination of the people in need. The team focuses on making people realize their rights and empowering them to make an informed and personal decision without external influence from anyone. External pressure from the men was the reason behind women oppression in the past. By eliminating the control, the individuals would enjoy the freedom to make decisions that affect their lives positively and utilize equal rights and freedom.

Pushed by gender discrimination and unequal pay, Oprah Winfrey started a television show that advocated for the rights of women. She went ahead to establish an academy for empowering young girls. The show considers social issues that lead to discrimination against people in the society (Farr 145). Such issues include same-sex marriage among others. In feminism, one of the objectives is to create a platform where people can make independent decisions according to their preference in life. The change from fighting for the rights of women alone to advocating for the rights of other marginalized groups shows the gender equality of the team. In the contemporary society, many people associate the term with a feminine approach. However, the evolution explains the diversified needs of the group in advocating for the rights and freedom of both genders.

The definition of feminism has the feminine touch due to the original goal. The historical interpretation associated the movement with women since it advocated for the rights of women in the society. It reached a point when the pioneers of the group realized that the male fraternity and other marginalized groups were going through challenges that required assistance. Therefore, the team shifted the focus from women to other groups in the society. The movement cannot hate any group. The focus is on improving the lives of the people concerning their rights and access politically, financially and socially. Therefore, feminism is the encouragement of equality for all sexes without discrimination, favor or prejudice to the minority in the society.

Feminism seeks to end sexism in the society. Discrimination based on the gender inhibits the potential an individual possesses. All people should enjoy equal rights and opportunities for their benefits. Influencing of the decisions made by people limits the ability of the decisions to favor them. Therefore, people from both genders should have the opportunity to make decisions that reflect their desires without fear of victimization from the people with varied opinions. Feminism movements enjoy the support of both men and women in the population. The support communicates the positive attributes of the group in the society and the fulfillment of the objectives of the team in attaining gender equality. The dominance of women in careers set aside for men shows the positive steps made by the group both in the country and abroad.

Works Cited

Alcoff, Linda, and Eva F. Kittay. The Blackwell guide to feminist philosophy. Malden, MA Oxford: Blackwell Pub, 2007. Print.

Farr, Cecilia K. Reading Oprah : how Oprah’s book club changed the way America reads. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005. Print.

Keetley, Dawn, and John Pettegrew. Public women, public words : a documentary history of American feminism. Madison, Wis: Madison House, 2005. Print.

McCann, Carole R., and Kim. Feminist theory reader : local and global perspectives. New YorkLondon: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. Print.

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