By: Lana Alemam
A WOMAN WITHOUT A MAN IS LIKE A FISH WITHOUT A BICYCLE
"Purple", Alice Walker once said, “is to lavender as woman is to feminist". And you know what? You are a feminist no matter who you are or what you do. As long as you are a human being living on this earth you are actually a feminist, simply because "feminism is humanism" and the fact that "Feminism is for everyone", for both sexes and genders.
Those who told you that feminism is a radical reactionary notion emphasizing that one gender is superior in power to another are just the ones who don’t understand feminism, because the very definition of feminism shows a complete opposition to their beliefs. So if you are an anti-feminist, it actually means you are a sexist and no doubt a bad person; unfortunately most sexists don’t know that they are so, being unaware that they have been invariably imbued with sexism because of the patriarchal society and its brainwashing macho-ish media machine. So there is no sitting on the fence, you do not have a choice. You are either a feminist who believes that women are humans and deserve to gain their rights or you don't, and thus you are a sexist. And to help you to decide your stand, here is some information!
Feminism has ideological roots in France. Charles Fourier, in fact, a French male and a wealthy philosopher, coined the term in 1837, ("unless enjoyed by all", he wrote, "liberty is unreal and illusory..."). He stated that women were treated like cattle in the 19th century. Before the French and the American revolutions women were supposed to follow one certain path: to get married in her early 20s, start a family, and dedicate her whole life to household chores. Females by then did not really expect much from life; which is devoted almost wholly to servitude to males - husbands and children. As such, women were responsible of housekeeping and child caring, spending an average of 55 hours a week on domestic chores. They were legally subjected to their husbands by head and master laws, and they were unwelcomed in any professional programs; even if they find a job they were paid lower salaries than men. But with the French and the American Revolutions, women began to fight for equality and demand their rights, they wanted more for themselves; the women movements began as result of huge political, social and industrial changes in America and Europe.
So why do we need feminism? In case you’re wondering what is the point of all this? Feminism challenges the systemic inequalities that women face on a daily basis, it shows that women don’t always have to be someone’s daughter, sister, wife, or concubine, and that they can be totally independent. Maintaining that women should go after their own freedom, fight for independency, and struggle and strive to gain their rights, and enjoy equal privileges, treatment, respect, as well as opportunities in health, employment, education, voting….etc
It is obvious that women's body is non of men's business, so feminism believes that every female is the one and only one who has the right to control her own life and body, not her father, brother, husband or any other “He”, no matter who or what he does in the patriarchal societies. It basically gives women back their rights that have been taken away from them for hundreds of years simply because they are women; it allows mothers, daughters, and sisters to have equal opportunities in life to achieve their own goals without any gender- related discrimination. Feminism is no doubt a revolution that includes both women and men who want this world to be fair and equal, without boundaries demarcated by discrimination and biases based on gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status and material wealth.
Believing that we were created equals by the One Creator makes you a feminist! Moreover, a feminist believes in the political, social and economic equality of both sexes, disregarding of religion, socioeconomic class, race, ability, ethnicity, and sexual identity and orientation. If that is the simple definition of feminist then who wouldn’t like to be called that?
Many people find feminism a pernicious term with negative connotations, because of the notoriously common wisdom held about the movement, downgrading it to a mere social stigma, in which the media and the way it displays it play a decisive role. But let's make it clear, feminism does not mean woman hegemony or discouraging them from love relationships. It is not about angry lesbians suffering from misandry, but gender equality and sharing social responsibilities. It is about equal rights for all sexes. Feminism does not classify all men as patriarchs and all women as their victims. But exposes the truth about our patriarchal society, noting that women as well as men are both victims of it. It does not go after special rights for women; but confirms that we all deserve equal ones. It has nothing to do with your makeup or the way you look, it asks you to value yourself more than you value others.
People, nowadays, think that feminism is an out of date concept that we don’t need any more, women had gained their rights, no more patriarch societies, after all women can vote right? And sometimes more than men do. Well this cannot be more wrong; there is a huge need for feminism not only in underdeveloped countries or uncivilized societies, but everywhere, let's take the USA as an example: women form more than the half of the American population however they hold less than 20 percent of U.S Senate. No need for feminism not any more, women are equal to men and they have equal opportunities. Hold on!! How do you explain the fact that women are paid only $0.70 for the exact same job that a man -with the same education level- would be paid a dollar for? We do still need feminism because a woman’s appearance is still under a microscope and they can be fired from their jobs or accepted in certain jobs because of their appearance. We still need feminism because in the U.S, every six seconds a woman is raped, and the worst is that mostly women are blamed for being raped!! Rape in marriage only became a crime in the mid 1990’s in the UK, women’s roles in both developed and underdeveloped countries such as reproducers and caregivers have been largely ignored by the governments. A Nigerian girl for instance, who is responsible for household tasks doing them everyday from 4am to 9pm but still is officially classified as “economically inactive” or “unoccupied”, women in Saudi Arabia had only gained the right to drive a couple months ago, Egyptian women are legally not allowed to leave their houses without their husbands’ permissions, women are not allowed to choose where they are willing to live in more than 30 countries around the world, and it is impossible for them to get a passport without their husbands’ permissions. I will tell you that we won't need feminism any more when women won't have to take pepper spray where ever they go.
You don’t have to be an anti-man to be a pro-woman; Discrimination is society's cancer that erodes its body and soul so let's try to heal our society in any way maybe by just telling our daughters that Barbie is just a doll rather than a goal!!