Feminism: Getting Back to Its Roots

Feminism. A word that has many different shades of meaning, depending on who you are asking.

Some believe that it’s when women hate men. Others think it is meant to allow women to do whatever they want without being shamed for it.

However, the true definition is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities,” according to Merriam Webster.

Dimond High School Sophomore Denali Bunker said, “It has kind of a negative connotation. Some people think that feminists are men haters and that we don’t care, but part of the thing that feminism is, is that we’re not trying to be better than men. We’re trying to be equal to them. It’s like the genders coming together, not necessarily one being higher than the other.”

I think that this embodies feminism perfectly.

Dimond Sophomore Theodis Talbert described feminism as, “The movement for the betterment of the social perspective on women and making them more equal to men economically and politically.”

However, I believe that some “feminists” have taken a wrong turn somewhere and veered off from the course of the cause, which is acquiring equal rights for women.

In my opinion, many causes labeled as “feminist” are not helping the true mission of feminism.

They just give it a bad name.

Many people encourage and applaud some of these behaviors and honestly it just shows that these people have no dignity.

Plus, the fact that women who call themselves feminists are condoning these actions, just degrades and takes away from the effort.

Talbert said, “I think it is a good cause, and it has the right motives behind it, but I think that a few people that consider themselves feminists or who practice feminism go far over the lines.”

Then Dimond Sophomore Hannah Randall said, “I think it’s a really good cause because it’s true that the genders need to be equalized. Yet I think that a lot of people go to the extreme and kinda give it a bad rap and kinda fuel stereotypes about feminists.”

I completely agree.

One particular company (whose name I have left out due to the use of foul language), makes me understand why some people do not support the cause.

I learned about this company from a Time Magazine article about what seems to pass as feminism in America.

The company sells t-shirts that aim to battle sexism and other issues such as racism. They also have produced multiple Youtube videos, one of which is completely detrimental to the feminist movement.

This video is of young girls dressed as princesses swearing and using foul language while also talking about feminist issues.

It diminishes the face of feminism and shows that these people have no dignity and that they obviously do not take these issues seriously.

Time Magazine reporter Karin Agness wrote, “It’s uncomfortable to watch—not in the sense that it causes viewers to rethink long-held beliefs, but because it’s a cheap ploy.”

I could not agree more.

Agness continued, writing, “This isn’t courageous or graceful.”

In order for people to listen and take you seriously, you need to take a thoughtful and austere approach.

This video sends the wrong message about feminism and the ideals behind it.

The next story I became aware of through Cosmopolitan Magazine.

It told the story of Kiran Gandhi, a woman who ran the London Marathon in April of this year.

She had been training for the past year and the day before the big race, she got her period.

Instead of being discrete about it, she decided to run the entire marathon without wearing any form of feminine protection.

This was quite obvious by the end of the race.

When talking with PEOPLE Magazine Gandhi said she ran without protection to “highlight the sentiment of period-shaming,” saying, “On the marathon course, sexism can be beaten”.

Many applauded her for her display, yet I find this completely ridiculous.

Not only is it unsanitary and unhygienic, it is very undignifying.

Yet again, this is not the way to approach any issue.

This is the type of action that makes people cringe when they hear the word feminism, and I honestly do not blame them.

I am aware that Gandhi felt “empowered,” but there are other ways to achieve that without providing ammo for the negative views of feminism.

It is obvious that some causes have taken a radically different approach to feminism that is not producing positive outcomes.

They just provide society reasons to oppose feminism.

There are plenty of positive and effective ways to raise awareness of inequality issues that show women are serious about change.

The above examples made feminism a laughable topic, when it really is a movement that is trying to better the lives and status of women.

Hopefully, society will learn to disregard these pathetic ploys at invoking change and take the serious approaches into account.