I would like to use this post as an intro into my new research topic. For the next four or five post I will be discussing feminism and using it as a mode of analyzing social organization of western and/or industrial countries (keeping in mind these issues may pertain to other societies as well), with a keen interest on how feminism relates to masculinity. To illustrate why I have chosen this topic, I would like to present a few of the more common controversies as well as some important modes of thought to keep in mind on how feminism (as it is coined today) has impacted societies in various places around the world.
To start, a definition of feminism, from the perspective I will be referencing from now on: Feminism is a notion towards equality for all, not just females. It is the perspective that all genders have the basic human right to equality in all spheres of society; some of which include economical, health, employment, family responsibilities, the list is endless. Feminism brings to light equality issues of ethnicity, economic class, disabilities, again, the list is endless. To create an overall image, feminism, as I will be referencing, is about rethinking otherness, and questioning a social structure that takes aim at minorities and historically disadvantaged groups.
Controversies over feminism have been largely coined from the waves of feminism in the 20th century, where strong females leaders faced large amounts of hate crimes and prejudice. Many anti-feminists buy into the ‘man-hater’ image and the ‘crazed women’ notion of ideology. In fact, it would be very challenging to find a single feminist (of any gender, sex or sexuality) that fits this description. What these demographics fail to see is that with every leap forward, the feminist wave addresses more and more issues for the male sex. Just as many as it does with the female sex in fact (as well as all other sexual identities). Some examples include paternity leave or the social acceptance of male nurses and teachers.
My keen interest on feminism comes from the mode of analytic thought that this perspective facilitates. When engaging in feminist thought, you are engaging yourself in far more questions then just those that concern women. What I mean to emphasize with this, is that there really isn’t a single issue that just concerns women, we (all genders, not just the normative gender binary) as a society can only exist together, therefore, when one gender benefits from a moment of social restructuring, all genders do, including the masculine gender. My next post will be looking at this in more detail.