If I were to summarize society’s definition of modern feminism into one sentence, it would be: modern feminism advocates for women to have equal rights and opportunities to men.
Interestingly, the concept of equality is a subjective opinion. Some believe we have already arrived at equality, while others feel we have a long way to go. A 2017 Forbes article says, “It’s abundantly clear that our specific views on these issues are rooted deeply in our own personal and direct experiences, rather than on any data, research, or science surrounding the issues. (In other words, if we’ve personally faced discrimination, we know beyond doubt that it exists. But if we haven’t faced it ourselves, we often doubt that it happens).” Source: Forbes
Before starting this series, I was under the impression that feminism’s sole aim was to “dismantle the patriarchy.” Indeed, some radical feminists do feel and target their extreme hatred toward men, but they are not in the majority. Instead, I found that the average feminist desires to “pave the way for gender equality.” In other words, feminists aim to provide women with skills, employment, and opportunities to be on equal footing with men. In contrast, radical feminism desires to strip men of their rights and opportunities. Modern feminism is more about lifting up women rather than tearing men down.
Modern feminists who have directly experienced discrimination are most passionate about this cause. Look at progressive culture’s modern feminist icons like Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Oprah, Beyonce, Emma Watson, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to name a few. Oprah, for example, experienced unequal pay at the start of her broadcasting career. This motivated her to create her own network as well as a Leadership Academy for Girls. Check out the Harper’s Bazaar link below for 37 feminist icons and a quick description of their accomplishments.
Before next time, please ponder this question. Why does the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg personify feminist success while her successor, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, does not? We will discuss this in the next blog post.
Harper’s Bazaar Famous Feminists: