The Feminist Movement: What It Is Not

The fight for the emancipation of women’s right on gender equality in the society can be referred to as Feminism. It is the advocacy of women’s right on the ground of the equality of sexes. The feminist movement which is also referred to as the women’s movement or simply feminism means a series of political campaigns for improvements on the issues of reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women’s suffrage, sexual harassment and sexual violence. The movement’s priorities differ from nations to nations, ranging from opposing female genital mutilation in one country to opposing ‘glass ceiling’ in another country.

The glass ceiling is a metaphoric word used to represent an invisible barrier that keeps a particular group from rising beyond a certain level in a hierarchy. This word was coined by feminists to show the disparities between the careers of men and women. In the United States, this word is also used sometimes to describe the obstacles to the advancement of the minor groups’ women – women of two colours i.e. the East Asian American women. The glass ceiling represents a barrier that stops women from climbing the ladder in an organization. Women in the workforce are faced with this glass ceiling; they are prevented from receiving a promotion to especially executive rankings within their place of work.

The feminist movement has gone through three waves in some parts of the western world. The first wave was for middle and upper-class white women, suffrage (which is the right to vote in political elections) and political equality. The second wave attempted to fight social and cultural inequalities in society. Women of colour (i.e. the blacks) and from other developing nations who were seeking support were involved in this wave. The third wave has to do with financial, social and cultural inequalities. It addresses these inequalities and also includes campaigns for greater influence of women in politics and media.

By the literal meaning of feminism, it is what it should be, but modern day feminism has been perceived to divert from this meaning. The movement has taken another path from what it should be normally. Feminism should not be perceived as struggling against men, making them look bad for being men. The fact that feminism describes women as victims, should not shield the responsibilities or contributing factor that women do have in abuses and violence.

Men are also bullied and abused, which feminism does not recognize, or if they do, men are the abusers. Feminist movement does not talk about women as abusers and the men as victims. This movement is for equality which at times they divert from. Men also have their rights, which they are denied at times as well, so feminist movement should not be perceived about fighting for female rights alone. The movement should try to see that men are not denied their rights in the course of action of fighting for women’s rights.

Feminism, in the right sense, is to give the female gender a sense of belonging in the society and it shouldn’t go beyond that.

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