Feminism isn’t your enemy, it is your friend


Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeForShe under creative commons license

HeForShe campaign supporting gender equality

By: Afrah Momin, Spring Reporter

Feminism according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

Although this is the textbook definition, people often misconstrue the idea of feminism by creating their own. Due to this, there was a lot of controversy over feminism. Feminism began in 1848 when the first conference for women was in Seneca Falls, America. Back then, the issues of  gaining women’s rights was a challenge.

Two examples of feminism would be Alice Paul and Emma Watson. Paul was a suffragist, feminist, and women’s rights activist. She made a change in ending women’s suffrage. Paul founded the National Women’s Party (NWP). But on the other hand, Watson is a more current example. She is the GoodWill Ambassador for the United Nations Women (UN Women). Women like Paul and Watson bring change to the world.

In a poll on twitter, I asked the public if there was a difference between girl empowerment and feminism: 74% of the public voted yes, whereas, 26% voted no. Feminism is often misguided as a movement dedicated only to the audience of women. The name itself makes it seem woman – dominant.  In a magazine by Forbes, Kathy Caprino, stated: ” Feminism at its core is about equality of men and women, not ‘sameness.’ “. Caprino disagreed by saying that same does not mean equal.

I can say the same for feminism and girl empowerment. 26% of the public believe that they are both the same. However, they are not, if you think of the audience. Feminism speaks not only for women, but for men as well. Feminism, by definition,  acknowledges the political, economic, and social equality for BOTH sexes. Whereas, girl empowerment welcomes the audience of only women.

Feminism is a very broad topic, and covers a lot of issues. Since it’s such a vast idea, feminism has been broken up into five waves. The waves signify how much change has happened over time because of feminism. These waves are like baby steps, each one is slowly taking us to where we want to be: gender equality to be triumphant.

Even though some of the public doesn’t appreciate feminism, it is still important. For example, it gave voting rights to women, and the privilege to divorce their husbands. In article from the Huffington Post, Casey Cavanagh discusses that “if you are a feminist, you believe women should be treated the same as men, not because we’re better, but because we’re human.” Feminism isn’t your enemy, it is your friend.