Essay On Feminism Movement

In: Popular topics

A topic of feminism seems to be flying out of every corner these days. What is this scary “F” word and why so many famous women jumping out of their seats to call themselves as such? To answer these questions, let’s take a little journey into the world of feminism and find out what does it mean to be a part of it nowadays.

If someone asked me five years ago to describe a feminist, an image of a hairy monster, which despises the men population and doesn’t find enjoyable taking care of her appearance, would pop into my mind. Yes, it is unfair and, somehow, superficial to make your judgments only based on what everybody else feed you with, without making any proper research, but aren’t we all guilty in making this mistake? Looking at the faces, who had been and are representing a feminist movement, discovering how many changes they have made to improve lives of so many women, I can’t stop, but wonder how far away this description is from the reality.

History

When writing an essay on feminism, you have to dip your toes into history to make more understanding of it and that is what I did. The word “feminist” became widespread in 1970, but it’s been used in the public much earlier. The history of this movement has been divided into three waves:

  1. The first wave is referred to the Suffragettes movement in the United Kingdom and the United States in the nineteenth – early twenties century. At first it was focused on demanding equal property and contract rights and an opposition of married women being owned by their husbands, but by the end of the nineteenth century the central goal of the movement changed to gaining the rights of women to vote. If you like to learn more about it, not from a bunch of feminism essays, and have a visual image, check out a British historical drama called “Suffragette”, featuring Helena Bonham Carter, Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep.
  2. The second wave focuses on the women’s liberation movement that started in 1960 and lasted till the late 1980. It’s a continuation of the first wave and it was campaigned for legal and social rights for women, echoing with a slogan “The Personal is Political”, created by an author and activist Carol Hanisch, which became a synonym of the second wave of feminist movement. The third wave began in 1990 as a response to failures and a resistance against the movement created by the second wave.
  3. Third wave feminists concentrated on what is and is not good for women, considered race-relative subjects and debated whether there was an inherent difference between male and female.

Modern Feminism

Feminists now, even within the movement, have their own views on feminism and issues concerning it, which became the main reason of media and cultural critics, but many believe, that having a unique outlook on feminism is what helps to achieve different goals and broaden the boundaries of understanding the aims of feminism. Modern feminism is very diverse and has its representatives everywhere – from politics to pop-stars. During one of her recent tours, a worldly-known pop-star Beyonce flashed the word “Feminist” across her stage, while singing her hit song “Flawless”, which is now considered as an anthem of a girl power. Famous actress Emma Watson, especially known for her role of Hermione in the films about Harry Potter, launched her own campaign HeForShe, the main goal of which is to involve men in advocating for gender equality. She also created a feminist book club and gave a lot of speeches on this subject matter; one of them was at the World Economic forum’s annual winter meeting in January 2015. Malala Yousafzai an activist for female education, a memoir author and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate ( she was only 17, when she received the prize) from Pakistan was inspired by one of the Emma Watson’s speeches and decided to call herself a feminist after hearing it. Oprah Winfrey, well-known host of her own television show, once said: “I never did consider or call myself a feminist, but I don’t think you can really be a woman in this world and not be”. I think, it’s safe to say that we have successfully entered the fourth way of feminism, my friend, so buckle up for a ride.

The fourth wave

The fourth wave of feminism is hugely supported by the Internet, creating an international community of feminists, who use its powers for making discussions and taking actions. According to the research, made by Columbia University’s Barnard Center for Research on Women, the number of women, using social networks is largely increasing, which has resulted in creation of numerous websites, internet projects and online campaigns dedicated to feminism. So many changes have been made already for women around the world, although even more is yet to be made. One of the biggest issues is the feminization of poverty, a phenomenon referring to the fact that women represent disproportionate percentages of the world’s poor due to the lack of income, job opportunities, education possibilities, and because of gender biases in societies and governments. Some attempts for the best has been done at present, but there are more fights to win.

It is clear that today the position of women in the world is becoming more understandable and slowly, but steadily, turning into a mainstream. The world “feminism” has scraped off, if not all, but most of the dirt out of its, now shining, letters and is being happily added to the identities of many women and even some men around the globe. If you’re interested to learn more, there is a whole lot of information online.

Conclusion

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes feminism as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. This is what the Suffragettes were fighting for, this is what Beyonce is singing about and this is what Emma Watson is trying to teach the modern generation of young girls. At first I was hesitant whether I’m the right person to write any kind of essays about feminism, considering that there are so many of them already, but looking at it, those are all the people’s opinions and this is mine: I believe, if you care about the gender equality, even the slightest, you are a feminist.