We, as members of society, have a way of exponentially warping definitions, leaving basic principles in the eye of the storm. Living in a patriarchal society, the term ‘Feminism’ is stigmatised to such an extent, that identifying yourself as one is a gutsy feat.
“Men and women should be social, political, and economic equals.” That’s the simplest and most accurate definition of feminism, but the movement has come to be seen as anti-men, anti-marriage, radical, pro-choice, and many other things that it is not.
The word “feminism” in its simplest form is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes “. However, the same word has unfortunately been tainted by some of the extremist feminists who have, in their understandable fight for equal rights, in fact only became the sexists themselves. A contradiction if ever there was one.
Instead of making issues of inequality known and stating what could be done regarding equaling the playing field, radicals are increasingly purely turning to quite aggressively attacking absolutely anything and everything which has to do with men in general. Misandry, the hatred of men, has somehow defined feminism, giving it a negative connotation in everyone’s eyes. Feminism does not equate to sexism- or hatred. Nor is feminism that sanctimonious, uptight older sister, always out to spoil everyone’s fun. No doubt, there are people who identify as feminists who are most definitely sexist, people who expect special treatment, people who use frequent ‘special pleading’ arguments and people who are clearly, through their actions, not in search of actual equality, but who deny this vehemently.
And as in every movement, extremists exist; extremism is inherent to a movement such as this. The issue arises, when we leave the common ground of pleads for equality in its simplest form, and concentrate on the percentage of radicals. Feminism isn’t a dirty word, and nor is it a quest for matriarchy. It is a response to indignation, and a fight for an egalitarian world.