Let’s first take a look back at the history of feminism. There were three main waves of feminism:
The first wave started in the 1830’s and lasted till the early 1900’s. In this stage, women wanted the same rights as men. However, in this wave, they mainly focused on political equality such as voting rights. Though there were colored women involved in feminism, this wave was mainly dominated by white, middle class women.
The second wave started in the 1960’s and lasted till the 1980’s. In this stage, feminists worked on workplace inequality, such as the wage gap and the lack of access to better jobs.
The third wave started in the 1990’s and is still continuing to this day. This is the wave that I want to focus on. In this stage, there is a key focus on empowering women. However, in modern feminism today, the message some feminists are trying to push is that ‘women are greater than men.’
Equality doesn’t mean more rights.
Equality doesn’t mean women are superior. Some extreme feminists focus on stripping men of their rights. They look down upon men. Feminism is supposed to bring everyone together to work towards equality between men and women. Many men support feminism, however the extreme feminists who degrade men serve as a deterrent. If men don’t feel appreciated trying to support a cause, why would they want to continue supporting it?
I am not trying to judge the movement based solely on the people who go way too far trying to promote their version of feminism. However, there are feminists who portray themselves as psychopaths so that they can gain attention. This negative attention is a drawback to feminism. These few people get put in the media, which gives the feminism of today a bad image. People only focus on these extreme feminists and interpret that as all feminists. With such a negative view caused by these radical feminists, people decide to ignore the cause, thus making it ineffective.
Radical feminists are taking away voices that should be heard.
Feminism today is much different compared to the 1830’s. Nowadays, there are different viewpoints of the goals of feminism and how to accomplish them. I think that everyone has the right to state their opinions on feminism. However, people should keep in mind that feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women.
Feminism is to promote equality, not to degrade others.