Type: Definition Essays
Sample donated: Maria Haynes
Last updated: April 26, 2019
Jessica GranitoMrs. HunterBrookdale English11th January 2018For a century, women and men alike have campaigned behind the movement that rallied and supported everyone.
Women’s emancipation, the root motivation for feminism, is undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements of Western society. Feminism, in its technical definition, is the all-inclusive crusade that supports gender equality. In technicality, I consider myself, by definition, a feminist.
However, a new definition of this Western-driven movement is on the horizon and is molding into new ideas, principals, and values, and seems almost recognizable to its origins. This is better known as third-wave feminism. The modern, third wave feminist movement is paradoxical and is a failure when it comes to holding up to the highly-viewed principles and standards it once fought so hard for. The modern, third wave feminist movement is highly flawed and the classical and technical meanings have been skewed. In other words, the term “feminism” has morphed into a different meaning than its original, therefore, its meaning is flawed. It seems now more than ever that everyone has been jumping onto the “feminist” bandwagon–however, when looking at the truth and big picture of our Western society, the statistics show otherwise. According to The Telegraph, “an award-winning, multimedia news brand that has been synonymous with quality, authority and credibility”, reports”More than two thirds of Britons support gender equality – but just seven per cent would call themselves feminists.
Out of 8,000 people surveyed, only 560 used the ‘f-word’ to describe their views on equality” (Sanghani). At a first glance, this statistic just doesn’t make sense. If feminism is for equal gender rights, why do so many men and women refuse to advocate themselves under this label? However, when diving deeper into this predicament, it is obvious to side with this majority of people.
Men and women alike are so reluctant to label themselves as a ‘feminist’ because of the unfavorable reputation the movement has created. An article from The Odyssey, a community-driven social media site, puts it perfectly. Modern, millenial women are hesitating to label themselves as a ‘feminist’ because of the stereotype that comes with it. Women want equality, not labels and the unnecessary fluff that comes with being a part of a ‘movement’ (Twigg).
And when comes a moment, comes controversy. The Western, third wave-feminist movement has recently turned radical. In her article, Twigg continues to address womens’ reasoning for dissociation of the movement. We see articles in the news about the time “feminists” cussed at an innocent priest or the time “feminists” had sexual intercourse in front of the Vatican. (I can’t make this up). The outlandish acts displayed by women like these create the stereotype that people tend to hate. The media focuses on this man-hating, outrageous “feminist” stereotype. This image is sole purpose for why women don’t want to be associated with the very movement that (apparently) defends all of them.
If feminists really wanted women to join their movement, they would start preventing imbeciles like these radical women to control the media and represent their movement (Twigg). This article proves that the majority of women do not want to associate with the feminist movement. Their dissociation completely undermines the lame notion that the term feminist still refers to gender equality. Technically, by definition, yes. But the proof is in the numbers. Although a plethora women of course support gender equality, they can’t bring themselves to label themselves as feminists because of the ties and associations that come with it. As explained, women don’t want to be associated with the outrageous acts and man-hating rhetoric and reputation we see in the media.
Women don’t want to support the cause that reportedly defends them. This clearly defends that modern feminism is extremely paradoxical and a failure for the goal of championing women because the term itself has been unduly skewed.Western, third wave feminism continues to be excessively paradoxical because contrary to surface belief, the movement doesn’t allow women to have choice. It’s own, big-named advocators claim they support all women. However, it is clear that this is not the case. An article from The Odyssey, a community-driven social media site, touches on this. FEMEN, a widely-known advocate for the third wave feminist movement, says they want “complete victory over the patriarchy.” This simple statement completely undermines feminism’s founding principles.
Sure, there are some rare occurrences of where an institutionalized patriarchy shows its colors, but for the most part, this is not the case. FEMEN wants women to take dominance, not gender equality.”FEMEN also rejects religion, claiming that to actually be a feminist, you must also be an atheist. Moreover, FEMEN also demonstrates topless and/or naked, painting slurs like “WOMEN > MEN,” “END ISLAM,” and “POPE NO MORE” on their bare skin while obnoxiously parading around city streets. This organization, disguising itself as some sort of heroine for social justice, is really just insulting every pillar of feminism. True feminism does not confine women to a singular ideology, forcing them to reject a belief system. True feminism uplifts all women, regardless of their religious beliefs, culture, or political affiliations” (Twigg).
This quote explains that, although FEMEN, a huge advocate for the feminist movement, strives for “equality”, they really strive for equality with exceptions and certain requirements. You have to fit their mold or can’t join their movement, they claim to be inclusive but exclude women, contradicting the basis of their mission which is to raise women up. It’s not “feminist” to tell other women how to think or believe. Feminism should be about the women choosing her own life, path, and decisions. FEMEN’s disgusting and disgraceful actions further support the irony and contradiction of the movement they claim to fight for. The equality of women is undermined by their disapproval of other women if they aren’t radical enough.
This idea of women needing to uphold to “feminist” militancy can be shown through Madonna’s speech at the Women’s March in 2017. In the heat of her speech, she spews, “Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot of blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything” (Matthews). The radical notion that women have to conform to and side with these sick and extremist values in order to join the feminist movement is appalling. Feminism is threatened by its own contradictions– the movement doesn’t allow women to have choice.
Modern day, Western feminism is furthermore contradicting because the philosophy rests on the idea that in order to be equal, you must first accept that you are unequal. This is simply not true for the average American woman. In fact, we are inarguably the most privileged women in the world. However, we are often discouraged from believing we that are, (undoubtedly majorly) equal and taught to be victims. Nonetheless, we are our own worst enemies.
An article from Study Break, “an independently run website and magazine written by a rotating staff of college students from across the country,” highlights this notion. If women truly believed they were equal, the feminist advocacy and entire movement would cease to exist because that is solely what they are fighting for. Instead, women take on the roles of victims and will never achieve their end goal (Kibbe). Women are taught from the beginning of their womanhood that they are nothing, and in order to become something worthwhile, they have to fight the institution. If this ideology wouldn’t exist in the first place, we would not be ‘oppressed’ to the extent that we feel that we are. In fact, we women are our own worst enemies when it comes to the movement itself.
Women are taught that there is no way around the patriarchy, however, we allow this false idea to gain power by saying this. We are taught that our insecurities aren’t our own fault and that we can’t claim independence of these actions as strong women. Instead, we wimp and blame it on the patriarchy. Feminists constantly badger men to check their “privilege”. However, caught up in such a wrong belief system, they forget to check their own. Women in Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have few rights.
For instance, public transportation, parks, beaches and amusement parks are also segregated in most parts Saudi Arabia. Referring back to the Study Break article, the basis of the article explains that women often categorize themselves as victims. It seems that their only tactic is to play with people’s emotions by victimizing themselves and using their “oppression” to win their arguments. I truly believe the average man in this modern day is not out to get the women and grow the patriarchy, despite mainstream belief.
Thus, women from a young age are taught to believe that they have no control or independence of their thoughts, opinions, and freedoms– spiraling a never-ending cycle of the belief that women themselves are powerless. This supports my thesis and hugely supports that modern feminism is contradicting. Feminists want power but will never attain it because of their personal victimization that the majority of them do not have.
Modern day feminism is paradoxical in that uses tactics that are simply incorrect and misinformation. Sadly, women time and time again are mislead and brainwashed to believe these quotas. One typical defense mechanism that feminists often pull is the gender gap. However, nowadays, this issue is actually extremely minute. The Kansas State Collegian, a daily newspaper at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, with content reported, edited, and produced entirely by students reports the facts on this matter.”A study by payscale.
com shows that the real difference between wages for men and women. who are “similarly qualified” within the scope of six popular careers, is less than 4 percent. Yes, there is still a slight gap, but not the one you’ve been led to believe exists” (Poetter).What feminists tend to disregard when stating their typical “77 cents to a dollar” statistic is the circumstances taken when the study was measured. Their typical claim does not take into account that women tend to choose lower-paying jobs and careers, and that’s why, on average, they tend to make less than their male partners or counterparts, who might be in higher paying positions and careers. It also does not taken into account working hours for maternity leave, vacation time, etc.
A direct example of this misinformation can be seen within the E! News and Golden Globes fiasco. Catt Sadler, an entertainer on E!, quit her job with the complaint of not getting paid equally to her co-worker. Many Hollywood celebrities came quick to her defense, boycotting and ridiculing the network for such a disgrace. However, as the facts in The Collegian similarly report, additional factors need to be taken into account when it comes to paying employees. An E! executive stated that the two co-workers had different roles and therefore different salaries. They elaborated, stating that Sandler was on the network during the daytime while her counterpart did evening news as well as the red carpet. They continued to clearly specify that their employees’ salaries depend on expertise– not gender (Vagianos).
Referring back to The Collegian article, the quote further expands upon how the wage gap doesn’t really exist. The four percent gap clearly shows that for most women, the wage gap does not apply, proving that it is irrelevant. This relates back to my thesis because “feminists” usually use that as a tool to support their case. Meanwhile, it is actually a lost cause. Therefore, the fact that this wage gap that feminists claim exists isn’t real further proves the irony of the third wave feminist movement.
Women complain about getting paid less, but generally choose lower paying jobs than men. Instead of complaining about their current wages, women should take control of their careers and go for higher paying jobs. A solution to this would be to encourage more young women to partake in STEM jobs and programs. This further proves my point that the feminist movement is flawed because women want control and independence from the “patriarchy” and the government but demand their wages to be raised by the institutions they apparently despise. However, they rely on it heavily. The modern feminist movement contradicts itself in the wage gap argument. The time has come for young women to reform the morphed feminist movement.
We need to continue to stand up for women who are victims of violence and prejudice, but do away with the man-hating, failure of a reputation that this movement has disgracefully earned within the past decade. We need to reclaim our independence of thoughts and reputable respect among society. We need to make good use of the unprecedented freedom we have in America and get rid of the victim complex that the majority of us don’t have, and defend the minority that don’t. We need to fight against the misinformation that we were led to believe through the media and fight against the notions that we are no match for a nonexistent institution. Most of all, we need to teach our daughters to control their life and careers, not discourage them from the opportunities that they have if they work hard enough. The modern, third wave feminist movement is paradoxical and is a failure when it comes to holding up to the highly-viewed principles and standards it once fought so hard for.
Time is up for believing in untrue standards, victim complexes, misinformation, and bad reputations that this movement has now become. It is time for us boys and girls alike to turn it around and bring feminism back to its true meaning.