To begin a talk about feminism…
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Is feminism still relevant to me, a woman in her early twenties in a modern 21st century country founded on freedom and equality?
Being surrounded by women in different life stages, I hear some talk of how they aren’t happy in their marriages/partnerships, but they don’t feel economically independent enough to enforce their value in their relationships. Perhaps that has changed now, but I suspect it hasn’t.
Is anti-feminism a first-world problem?
Internationally, I believe the subject is even more relevant. On April 14, 2014 (yes – modern times), almost 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria were abducted for having the audacity to attend school. This wasn’t an isolated incident, only one that made the headlines. In many parts of the world, women are harmed for educating themselves. Another famous example is Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan. Perhaps this conversation should expand our minds not only to our own underlying social constructs, but those of the international society.
For a very select few of my girlfriends and myself, we believe we are just as economically independent as males believe themselves to be, but for many of my girlfriends in small town America, that is far not the case. They don’t see that they could have just as much input in the financial decisions, location decisions, etc. of their marriages (current or potential relationships). Keep in mind the phrase “gold digger”. Have you ever – even once – imagined a man in this context? No – we naturally picture females. Similarly, the phrase “trophy wife”. Notably, there is not a phrase “trophy husband”, except in facetious joking.
Now, this is not to say that every woman should feel the way I do, but I think we need to open up the dialogue to allow for more women to feel empowered to fully embrace what they bring to the table.
The Classic Feminist Movement
The main point I embrace in the classic feminist movement is that women are able to bring an equal amount of value to the institution of marriage in the realms of mental strength, wisdom, decision-making, and more. However, I do also believe that the man is the head of the household. I think of Joyce Meyer, who is a very strong woman who influences millions of people worldwide through her books and broadcasts. Even she says her husband sits in the “decision-making chair” of their household – if they disagree, at the end of the day he is still the person whose decision they maintain.
With the classic definition of feminism below, I’m completely on board with the feminist movement:
fem·i·nism — (n.) the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
The Modern Feminist Movement
On the other hand, the main point I do NOT embrace in the modern feminist movement is that feminism means fully realizing that women can be just as much “awakened” in their animalistic partnering with multiple men, because men do it, too. THAT IS NOT FEMINISM. That is justifying a wrong by matching the wrong.
Reconciling the Difference
So as you decide whether or not to embrace the feminist movement, remember that “feminism” has historically been focused on bringing equality in areas which are, to me, necessary: political, social, economic equality to women & men alike. I can stand behind that.
I write as a woman, a daughter, a future wife, and a future mother. I write in representation of myself, my own rights, but also those of my daughters. I hope they grow up in a world where women everywhere are more empowered to be independent of the fear of any of mankind.
In hopes of a better future,