Approach to Feminism

The other day, I was in a group of people that consisted of two other women and one man. As we were about to leave, we were talking about various subjects when the topic of feminism came up. Right after I mentioned it, the man left, and I commented how funny that was. I am not angry at him, but I found it amusing he decided to leave at this point of the conversation. I understand he had to go and has no obligation to be in the conversation.

When I presented this hilarious situation to a close male friend, they told me that during the WLM (Women’s Liberation Movement), men put up with the constant scrutiny of women. For example, if a man said “chairman” the woman would correct them and say “chairperson”. Men did not want to listen to women because they constantly seemed to nitpick something.

One could say this is why women need feminism, for men do not want to listen to women unless it positively involves them. That men find women pushy and annoying. As much as this irritates me, however, I think that part of feminism is realizing that we are all human. Compromise to benefit men is not on the top of the feminist agenda, but in order to spread the word of equality, we need to consider how these people, who happen to be male, receive our information.

Imagine sitting in a room and people try to find something wrong with you. How do we prevent coming across this way?

The first part of spreading your message is to attach kindness to it. No one wants to learn from someone who belittles them. You are representing feminism, and if the recipient of your message does not like your attitude, they will not want to deal with any of your activities. Here is an example- Would you listen to a band that your enemy loves but you do not know about, yet?

The second part is important for the beginning of the feminism movement- do not overdo it. Do not say much, but when you see something wrong, do something about it. If you constantly talk about feminism, eventually everyone who is not involved will shut you out. It is just like your 10 year old neighbor who will not stop raving about Yu-Gi-Oh. You are not against it, but you do not want to keep hearing about it over and over. The best thing to do is mention what is wrong when someone does something wrong. People learn best from mistakes.

The third part is to question if something really is sexist. Is this situation dependent on a victim’s gender? If the genders were reversed, would this be as likely to happen? This is probably the most vital, as many feminists are labeled as man-haters. Of course, there will always be the patriarchy enforcers who will continue to believe this lie, but there are also misled feminists who do not know any better and need to be corrected.

The fourth part is the realize the current state of society and that we still live under sexist standards. For example, covering up in public and lacking friendliness to people will help prevent rape in this time generation. Note the words “help prevent” instead of “prevent”. Unfortunately, it could still happen. However, whatever you wear, say, or do should never be blamed for your rape (assuming your actions do not include saying “yes” or anything related to consensual sex). Only the rapist is at fault. The idea of feminism is to move toward a progressive society where women do not worry about their looks on the street, for the majority of men will know that catcalling, groping, and other sexual harassment is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable.

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