Thursday, April 21, 2011

misconception of the definition of feminism

I have been traveling in cyberspace to other mommy blogs. I noticed a topic trend. It seems the collective "we" are a bit up in arms regarding children, toys, and gender roles.  I do no care to debate if one should allow princesses or baby dolls. I like toys and being a child should be about play. You should be free to choose your playthings without grown up worry of how it may psychologically damage you. Also, as a parent you should be free to guide your child however you see fit.

What I found troublesome was the "modern" perception of the definition of feminism. It seemed a common thread that to be a feminist was to believe that men and women are physically and mentally identical. Even a child knows that boys and girls are different. I'm pretty certain our fore-sisters had a more evolved thought process than a child.

Feminism is not the idea that we are all physiologically the same. It is the concept that we should all, men and women, have the same opportunities.  To put feminism in a tiny box that states it is so narrow minded as to claim men and women are identical, is to forget that women used to be second class citizens. We were not allowed to vote. We could not own property. We could not show our ankles, let alone put on our favorite sex and the city heels and go have a cocktail. Feminism is not about wanting to be a man. It's about civil liberties. We take those for granted. That may be because we don't live in a country where they cut off our clitoris to keep us in line. However, in the big picture it was not that long ago our husbands were allowed, legally, to beat us and we did "as we were told".

I have been a single working female most of my life. I was able to move freely through the world in that role because of the groundwork put down by feminists  I was also able to make the choice to marry my true love because of feminism. I didn't have to have a dowry thus making me valuable for marriage. Nor did I have to have an arranged marriage to help my lower class family climb up in social stature.

I was then able to make the conscious decision to become a stay at home mother because so many women (and men)before me fought for my right to make choices. I was not told when to marry. I was not told who to marry. I was not told when to breed. I did not become nonviable because I was past marrying and breeding age.

In the debate against gender roles, princesses , toys and how to raise children, feminsim is not the enemy.
Our fore sisters fought so that we could have public debates. They fought for our voice. Their aim was not to make us men, just as valued as men. If they hadn't we would all be writing these blogs under assumed male names like our ancestral female writers had to write their novels.

Below is a definition from the Wikipedia

Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women.[1][2][3] Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights. Much of feminism deals specifically with the problems women face in overcoming social barriers, but some feminists argue that gender equality implies a necessary liberation of both men and women from traditional cultural roles, and look at the problems men face as well. Feminists—that is, persons practicing feminism—may be persons of either sex.
Feminist theory emerged from these feminist movements[4][5] and includes general theories and theories about the origins of inequality, and, in some cases, about the social construction of sex and gender, in a variety of disciplines. Feminist activists have campaigned for women's rights—such as in contract, property, and voting—while also promoting women's rights to bodily integrity and autonomy and reproductive rights. They have opposed domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. In economics, they have advocated for workplace rights, including equal pay and opportunities for careers and to start businesses.


  1. Loved this post!
    I agree with it 100%
    I am reading The Outlander series right now (I've just started the 5th book) and I can't believe how it was for women back in the 1700 and 1800's. It just trips me out that we had no rights, that if a widowed woman married again, the new husband would inherit her entire estate ABOVE her! When it was hers to begin with! And in a divorce...the father would get the children. Nor argument. Things like that drive me crazy.

    I saw your blog link on the blog hop - I'm a new follower :)


  2. Thank you for being brave enough to comment on this topic and for coming by!!!!