21 March 2017
Feminism: Powered by Appeal
Feminism has come a long way over the years. There are still many stones to turn for equality of the sexes. Feminism, for many men and women, has lost its attraction. Though Feminists have achieved a great deal, they have lost their appeal, but gained power by negative appeal, obstacles women still face, and the new election of Donald Trump in 2016.
Feminism has developed a negative appeal. According to a Washington Post poll, 4 out of 10 Americans believe that the Feminist movement based on anger, blaming males for the unfair challenges that women face (Clement and Cai). This type of negative criticism is silencing some feminists. Feminists are backing off because they are afraid of anymore negative criticizing. Though many are backing off, involvement is not ceasing nor declining (Epstein). Fear of negative criticism is not the only fear of feminism. Many women who have played the stay at home mother for years. Some of these women are dependent on their significant others and have been for years. Not only does this dependency hinder independence, but some women are held back by their significant other. There are women who want to be the stay at home mother. For the others, feminism is scary in the idea of being independent because a great portion of their lives were spent as dependent. They fear they have no way of achieving independence (Why Women Fear Feminism). Another fear is of feminism itself in general. There are women out there who believe that women are inferior to men. Some women have been taught to believe that they are inferior to men. Women who believe this are either happy with giving men the power or they believe they are inferior because that is what they have been told. These women who believe what they are told are not happy with men having the power, but rather held back by what they have been taught. Women also fear and have the impression that feminism scares men away. Some men do feel uncomfortable with a successful woman. While there are men who love to be needed and want someone dependent on them, women fear and are taught that there cannot be a need and independency at the same time (Why Women Fear Feminism). Of course, there is also the fear of feminism because of stereotypes and a false idea of feminism. Some people believe feminists hate men, that feminists are against the idea of being a stay at home mother and against families. People also believe feminists must be non-religious, masculine, and believe in pro-choice (Why Women Fear Feminism). These stereotypes and false impressions are a large part of why people are so against feminism. There are many different types of feminism, each with their own beliefs. There is no correct type of feminism. They are all equal and valid beliefs.
According to a survey from Quora, when men were asked what they thought about feminism and feminists, they answered that feminism was outdated. Many of them identify with egalitarianism and prefer the term to feminism. Some feel that feminism is not based on equality between men and women, but based on a more female agenda. Others are just confused on what is asking for. Men from the same survey commented that feminism is a mess. Feminism is described as confusing and extreme amongst the male survey takers. These men describe hearing so many ideas on what feminism is that they are unsure what to believe. They also describe extreme feminists people they do not want to associate with. One gentle man described being nervous around these women. There is also the confusion of being chivalrous versus being feministic (What Do You). Is it acceptable for a man to take up for a woman or should the man assume that woman can take up for herself? Some of these men also feel that they will be attacked by feminists because they are male. They feel that they are considered the “enemies” of feminism (What Do You). The confusion is valid, especially with all the types of feminism.
One female blogger accused feminism of being more concerned with domination and not equality. This female blogger, known as Miss Misanthropist, says that women are treated far better than men. She points out a Canadian domestic violence sign that states 50 percent of men are victims domestic violence. This sign caused quiet an uproar among feminists who accused the ad of being false. Misanthropist points out that this is a huge problem, especially when women deny that a male could be abused by a female. This female blogger accuses some feminists of making up oppressions too. She feels that feminists are accusing certain situations of being an oppression against women when there is really no oppression taking place. Furthermore, Misanthropist feels that disorders and campaigns for men are being ignored in favor of bringing light to disorders and campaigns for women. One example is eating disorders and how they are not acknowledged as much within men. Misanthropist brings up that women are more than likely to get custody of children to whether they are addicts or have been addicts. Men are highly scrutinized if a mother wants to give up their child to the father, but women are given their children (Misanthropist).
Feminism has become more of an opinion among people instead of a straightforward idea. Though it is true that there are many types of feminism, opinions of feminists against feminists are sometimes the cause of such negative appeal. It seems that all the confusion is more likely out of ignorance as to what feminism is. Feminism is many different ideas so that does not make one idea wrong or better than the other. Feminists arguing and fighting against other feminists causing confusion and fear in people. They begin to make assumptions and opinions that may be for or against feminism. These arguments have given feminism a negative appeal, but that negative appeal has turned into power for feminism.
Emma Watson was recently accused of being a “bad feminist.” Watson was criticized about a picture she posed for that left her braless. When confronted about being called a “bad feminist,” Watson is quoted saying “Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it [Feminism] (Vogue). Feminists stuck against Watson because of her partially nude picture while other Feminists supported Watson in her right to take whatever picture she wanted. About feminism, Watson said, “I’m confused. Most people are confused” (Vogue). Feminism is striking out against Feminism. With the negative appeal of feminism, other feminists are rising to “correct” other feminists. It is also creating attention for feminism and giving feminism the spotlight which helps feminism to gain power.
Feminism also gains power from the fact that there are obstacles that women still face today. Women are still paid considerably less than men. This is a huge concern, especially for women who are in the same positions as men, with the same responsibilities. Women are also more likely to be poor because they are paid less. Child care is still considered the responsibility of women even though they work and have jobs now. The obligations to the family is still considered to be a part of the woman’s responsibly. Violence against women is also a large concern. It is still common and there is the need to address that violence (Epstein). As mentioned before, activism has not ceased nor declined so the power of feminism was not lost in that aspect, but because the issues are still on going, more power is developing every day. This power is developing due to these issues still not being resolved.
With the election in 2016 of Donald Trump, many organized protests began, including feminist protests. Feminists had a “women’s march” protesting Trump’s “aggressively misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, and racist policies.” These feminists believe that Trump does not value the rights of women (Eilis). There will always be a disagreement with policies, but it seems this election really stirred protestors up. Not just because Trump is considered not to care for women’s rights, but also equality rights of race and sexual orientation amongst other things. It seems that this election will continue to stir up protestors and because feminists are rallying against these policies, more feminists will get on board with their fellow feminists.
Many people are confused about feminism and what it all means. Feminists are arguing with feminists, calling out the people who are doing feminism “wrong.” The negative appeal and election of Trump brought more power to feminists who were already fighting against the unfair treatment of women that still exists in the world.
Clement, Scott and Weiyi Cai. “What Americans Think About Feminism Today.” The Washington Post, January 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/feminism-project/poll/
Ellis, Jenna, Dr. “’Women’s March’ Feminists Want Entitlement, Not Equality.” The Hill, March 2017, http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/civil-rights/322964-womens-march-feminists-dont-want-equality-they-want
Epstein, Barbara. “What Happened to the Women’s Right Movement?” Home. V.53 Issue 1, May 2001, https://monthlyreview.org/2001/05/01/what-happened-to-the-womens-movement/
Misanthropist, Miss. “Feminists Fight for Domination, Not Equality.” March 2015, http://www.missmisanthropist.com/blog/2015/3/17/feminists-fight-for-domination-not-equality
“What Do You, As a Man, Think About Feminism and Feminists?” 2013-2015, https://www.quora.com/What-do-you-as-a-man-think-about-feminism-and-feminists
“Emma Bites Back on Nudity Criticism.” Vogue. March 2017, http://www.vogue.co.uk/article/emma-watson-feminism-debate-vanity-fair-picture
“Why Women Fear Feminism.” Pitline Magazine, 2017, http://www.pitlanemagazine.com/ethnicity-and-gender/why-some-women-fear-feminism.html
© 2020 Esila Waya