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What Is Feminism?

By Ella Mosco and Espen Varrone

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.” If the definition is something as straightforward as this, then why is it that in this day and age, feminism is cast under such a negative, pessimistic light?

According to society and the media, a woman must be dangerously thin, have shiny, beautiful (usually blonde) hair, perfect teeth, flawless skin, large breasts, long legs, and a number of other unrealistic physical features to be considered “beautiful”.

It is society that has given us impractical expectations of what beauty is, and society that has warped the true meaning of feminism.

The main goal of feminism is to break the ludicrous standards that exist for women today and to be treated as equals to men, with regards to pay and societal expectations.

While, yes, there are some extreme, self-righteous, “man-hating” feminists out there, this does not mean that they represent the face of feminism, nor are the majority of feminists all overbearing and psychotic. Simply because there are some radical feminists throughout the world, feminism should not be defined as radical as, nor should people base their opinions regarding feminism on these women.

In the past couple of years, women have begun posting their views regarding feminism, as well as different images, articles and statistics, on various social platforms, such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Women, and men, are simply fighting for women’s rights, and often use the Internet as a way to convey their beliefs. People should be able to express themselves freely; feminists are simply trying to educate and enlighten people about issues that women face today concerning inequality. What’s wrong with that?

It seems as though people are forgetting that it is good to be passionate about something, and it is good to care about something so much and it is good to want to fight for something that you believe in.

It is understandable that sometimes, posts pertaining to feminism on social media networks can be a bit excessive in certain respects. However, if one finds these constant posts to be extreme and unwanted, one can merely unfollow or defriend those who are sources of extreme feminist publications. It is as simple as that.

In regards to whether modern-day feminism has gone too far and has become too extreme—no, it has not. Feminism is not too excessive and it will not be until women are treated as complete equals to men.

On the other hand, feminists can go too far. It’s hard to make a case against feminism without undertaking a tone of misogyny. But facts are facts; men and women are different. We are wired to be different biologically, physically and psychologically. Nevertheless, many modern day feminists ignore this fact. Some feminists have become radical, and go beyond what is natural.

The most obvious difference between men and women is our appearances. Men are generally taller and more muscular, resulting in a stronger build. From birth, a combination of genetics and testosterone has left us in a position where male dominance is second to none. Men tend to be more aggressive and with the weaker build of a woman, there is not much one can do to prevent any physical or psychological abuse.

It is only recently in some cultures that women have been accepted as “equal”. Females simply do not have the strength or endurance necessary to be, for example, effective combat soldiers. Most women simply can’t be as effective at many physical tasks that men are chromosomally built to perform.

Male psychology is very different than a woman’s as well. One can refer to the Bateman Principle and Robert Trivers theory of Parental investment which concern differences that each gender has in mating tendencies. Since men have unlimited offspring, they can theoretically have unlimited mates. Women on the other hand can only have one (pregnancy), so they’re naturally more selective. This leads to many of the strange male social cues and their general treatment of women.

This argument is not to justify sexism, but to realize that males and females are different. Women should be given equal opportunities, but, in many cases sound biological reasons will likely prove that men have superior physical qualities, which is something all women should remember when arguing their opinion about feminism.


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