Sunday, September 01, 2002

Feminism's many flavors

Click here, scroll down a bit and find a well-balanced, engagingly written treatise on feminism(s). The writer explains at length the characteristics of the various types of feminism. No, not all "feminists" are alike, despite the stereotype that persists that all women seeking equal treatment have to be bra-burning ball-busters. An excerpt from the post:

Just because I choose to embrace my femininity does not mean that I'm any less effective a feminist. I just happen to believe that only when society accepts femininity and womanhood on par with masculinity and manhood, learning to value both equally, will equality truly come into effect.

That's one approach. It happens to be mine, too. There's nothing wrong with being feminine but at the same time demanding respect. Femininity has been portrayed as a weakness--as a quality of the "weaker" sex or of "sissy" men. Historically men have derided "female" qualities in their effort to assert power, even though many of these qualities, if embraced, could easily make the world a happier place.

And no, feminists don't all hate men. Men, feeling threatened by the word "feminism" because their impression of it is the one always replayed by the media--the one of bras aflame--often interpret it as an attack on their maleness. Although there are certain schools of feminism that spurn the male and assert that the female is superior, that's not the healthiest way to go about it, in my opinion. Feminists who embrace aggression toward males to get their point across aren't any better than the men who behave aggressively back. The fairer approach is not necessarily to criticize, but to educate the world about women's inherent worth--worth that should be recognized with equal regard in whatever women want to be, be it a mother or a doctor or a soldier or a teacher.

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