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Definition of Feminism

Before this course, I had a pretty limited view of feminism. I would have defined feminism as: a movement for women’s rights. However, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what that meant or how that was executed. I did realize that the stereotypes were false (all feminists are angry bra-burners). I also neglected to think about a man’s role in feminism and the extent to which women’s rights and choices were so few not all that long ago and still are today for many women across the world.

Within this course so far, however, I am learning of even harsher stereotypes than I had heard of before. Hearing these really makes me sympathize with this movement because I now know how feminists stand for something totally different than what these stereotypes say. A striking portion from our reading entitled “Tidal Wave? by Sara M. Evans reads: “‘The twisted, all-too-common logic about feminists goes like this: If you stand up for women, you must hate men. Therefore, you must be angry. Thus, you must be ugly and can’t get a man anyway. Hence, you must be a dyke.’? It is easy for anyone who is not educated on the subject to have a false impression or make a generalization about feminism.
From the reading we have done so far, I feel as though a have gained a stronger understanding of feminist aspects such as it’s themes, morals, messages, and attitudes. I have built upon my prior definition of feminism. After reading bell hook’s thorough book on feminism, things have been made clearer to me. The point that stuck out to me the most was the fact that feminism is rooted in love and equality. This means that feminism stands for equality among both sexes. It is a two-way street; if either sex is claiming domination over the other (this stemming from the stereotype that feminists think they are better than men or man-haters), this would be completely contrasting to feminist ideals. Feminism is grounded in love, not hate. Also, feminism is not just limited to white, privileged women. Men and woman of all races, classes, values and political views can be a part of this same movement. So now with what I have learned so far, I say: that feminism is a movement toward equality among the sexes, rooted in love and justice, and made up of believers (men and women) of all races and classes, with different values and personalities.