Debates about feminism is starting to rage again. Yesterday, on Weekend Sunrise, I caught most of a discussion about how young women don’t embrace feminism.
I have some pretty strong views in feminism. As an ideology, feminism has played a role in the condemnation of discrimination and domestic violence. Partly, at least, feminism played a role in making marital sexual abuse a criminal offence. Women in Australia and the UK are indebted to feminists to ensure that women have the right to vote.
in my honest opinion, I think many women in particular, have dropped the ball. I think women are demonised when they speak out about sexual harassment and rape victims still often don’t feel safe to come out in fear of not being believed (this happens to men too, I get that). There is still wage gaps between men and women (in Australia, women are paid approximately 17% less than men doing the same job).
There is downside to how feminism has occurred. It seems to me that the biggest argument against feminism is that it’s misandrist (man – hating), and has become about demonising men of rape when the accused is innocent. Statements like “all men are rapists” doesn’t help anybody, men or women. Misinformation doesn’t help anyone either. The hashtag campaign on Twitter #YesAllWomen was inspired by the massacre committed by Elliot Rogers in California earlier this year, despite the fact, that four of the six people killed were men. Later, I found the parody campaign #EndFathersDay campaign distasteful.
Secondly, feminism in the West falls short of condemning abuses against girls and women in a number of countries, particularly the Middle East, Africa and some countries in Asia. Very few feminists are vocal against Female Genital Mutilation, honour killings and other barbaric practices every day. If feminists are about the rights of women and equality, why not stand against these atrocities?
Lastly, we need to realise that different women make choices in their lives that seem to be the best choices, at least at the time. The “mummy wars” doesn’t help anyone. Whether a woman is a working mother, a stay – at – home housewife/ mother, or single and childless (or coupled and childless), everyone should have the freedom to do what works off them. Also, we need to help women who need it, regardless of who they are.
Whether you call yourself a ‘feminist’ or not, I think that most people can agree on what is definitely unacceptable in terms of the treatment of women (and men). Can’t we just agree on what needs to be done, take action and stand together?