The Call for Feminism

By Christina Kim - March 17, 2015

I am a woman and I am definitely proud to be one.
I have nothing against men and they are equally as important in their existence on the planet.
Men and women ought to be proud of who they are, and not for one tiny moment doubt or even belittle their own gender in this revolving society.

This is exactly the reason behind the call for feminism today, and to make that stand for gender equality.

What’s the Fuss behind Feminism?
Many cringe at the sound of the term ‘feminism’, which appears to sound like a strong word and is often misinterpreted as one that is called upon by women in their mission to fight for women’s rights.
It definitely is about striving for women’s rights, for feminism, guided by the hint of the feminine streak in the word literally brings the meaning of coalition or a collaboration of efforts in promoting equal rights and political, economic and social opportunities for women in various areas particularly in  education and employment.
It is a call for all, not just by women, for women, but it is meant to reach out to everyone; man or woman, to establish the equality of rights and gender and eliminating discrimination.

Feminism is about women being recognized or admitted with no prejudice when it comes to being considered for all opportunities, and be given that equal consideration a man would in the same position.
In other words, the term feminism is not only about women, but it is in fact, calling for equality for all.
There is no prejudice and gender is not to be considered a barrier in weighing the eligibility of a person; be it man or woman. It is about capabilities, and in short, it is about gender equality.
When we come to this stage of equality, there is no longer any form of biased perception on whether a woman could perform a job often performed by a man.
Gender is no longer a criterion in consideration of the candidate in all areas of social aspect, and it is all a fair game.

What Feminism is NOT about
Calling for gender equality is not about waging a war between the genders.
When we talk about feminism, while it is strongly suggesting the rights of the women that is highlighted, we are not calling for the women to unite in an attempt to ignite crusades against the men.
No, it is not about women against men nor is it about drawing the lines clear between the genders.
It is often misperceived as such thus garnering the negative responses and criticisms on the movement.
It is often interpreted as campaigning against the men; as promoting hate towards the male gender.
Men think that women are calling them incapable, that women wants more privileges and to be ranked as better than men.
It is definitely nothing of that.

Feminism is a term used to promote the equal rights to raise the awareness in the society of the oppression women have been facing for generations.
The term Equal rights itself is foretelling of fairness; of a just and unbiased environment and that women are no longer being denied opportunities, simply because of their gender.

Women are often perceived as the weaker sex; aside the fairer sex and which attributed to them being confined to areas where they were deemed suitable, based on the perceived lack in the physical strength as compared to the men.

Perhaps it is the early origins of our ancestors which led to this very conception, for the roles back then were constricted to the environment in which they lived in.

Bear in mind that these were the days without technology and everything was nature-based.
Strip away the luxuries of even running tap water or the heat of a stove with just a flick of a switch.
Water was then to be traced to the very source where it will then serve as their provider as long as it last, with trips being made back and forth from their made up homes (or within the caves) for quite a distance. Heat from the fire is to be produced manually; with the rubbing of stones or sticks against each other. Sticks and wood are gathered from the forest to fuel the fire to keep themselves warm, beasts from attacking them and to cook their food.
It was the early days of pre-civilization and the era where things were of experimental nature and those mentioned were probably the earliest knowledge of survival skills acquired by our ancestors.
Thanks to their trials and errors, we now have the luxury of technology on our backs (anyway that is a different story)

Back to the preset roles for our ancestors, men and women were naturally taking up different tasks.
The men were the ones out there by default; defined by their physical strengths they were hunters, fishers and also the ones performing all the heavy duty tasks outdoors.
The women on the other hand, were confined to the caves, nurturing the young children and tending the domestic chores such as cooking, cleaning and taking care of the family.
This is perhaps the earliest trace of the segregation of the gender-based roles, and served as the guide for generations to follow thereafter.

However, many failed to comprehend that evolution happens which also triggered multiple paradigm shifts in the society.
Based on the earlier days of civilization, can we say they had no gender equality?
It was irrelevant for it was then only the need for survival which dominated the mindset, and the scarcity of population is of question. Mortality rates were questionable, for basic necessities in keeping one alive was the main concern.
The tasks carried by the men and women did not necessarily mean there was a gender inequality, for it was by the recognition of the suitability and also the environmental factors which confined our ancestors to the gender-based roles.

Now let’s take a walk through the different time periods and the zones of evolution; as population grew in numbers and civilization starts to take shape.
Women and men make up the communities and continue to play their primal roles, despite the changes in the way of living.
Men continue to take the outer front; and it falls on the men’s shoulders that it is their responsibilities to care for the family financially and to also be the main defense from any threats/harm unto their families.  Women continue to be confined to their homes to care domestically for the family and to ensure the well-being of their family members.

It is this very environment which catapulted the men to the forefront; planting that idea in their head to be the leaders of the pack and at the same time, creating that sense of self-pride which we could also term as ego. (Ego is not necessarily a negative term, and in contexts like this, it is a strong sense of self-esteem and identity).
Identities of men and women were clearly distinguished by their pre-dated roles which led to men continuing to be taking charge of everything; be it inside or outside the house.
Men took on the identity of the stronger sex, and women, naturally, the weaker sex.

It may not have been intended in that way from the start, but the origins of humanity and civilization have formed the grounds for such mindset and moulded the behaviors and mannerisms in the very same direction.

Men continue to lead, while women, were deemed to follow from behind, never to overtake the men.
Women were viewed to be better at domestic chores and for generations after, they were brought up to believe that same concept and stayed obediently homebound.
As evolution continues to take place and modernization comes into picture, men continue to believe that they are supposed to take on larger responsibilities with the women in the background.
Education comes into place in the evolution and men continue to be placed in their roles to take up more responsibilities, thus men were naturally granted places in education for it was required that they are the future (or the only) pillars of the society and men were placed in the social, economic, financial sectors to pave the foundation for the society.
It became such a norm that nobody could see the flaw in the system.
Men lead, and women follow, in the background, that is, and that was the simple concept to everyone.

Heaven forbid if a woman was to request for education, it was as though one had committed a heinous crime for just asking. It was frowned upon and one could almost scream bloody murder if a woman is to go against a man’s word.
Perhaps it was for this very reason that men continue to evolve and to inherit this traits in their thoughts, while women obediently accept that they are not meant to compete with men, who are definitely the stronger sex.

No one is to blame for this conception, which cannot even be put a finger on as to whether it was right or wrong for it seemed to be the situation back then.

However, the question is still on the evolution and it is time to change that mindset.
Women are not any worse or lack in terms of their capabilities, just because they were born as the generally perceived ‘weaker sex’.
If we were to look through the history, what is the sure definition that women were the weaker sex?
Was it just purely the physical attributes which plunged them into that category?
Were they given tasks to chop the woods, hunt or even to start the fire?
Perhaps they failed, and that was the reason for women to be perceived as physically incapable and therefore they must be weak?

What justifies for the education then, if physical attributes are the ones in question?
Why are women continuously denied the opportunity of education, or even to be allowed to work in the society?
If women failed and that is the ruling judgment, then how about the men who failed?

It is time to stand up and say NO to all that, for men and women, they are all alike and deserve that equality in opportunities and even due respect.
It is no longer just purely a matter of women being confined to domestic environment, but rather, even the very thought of allowing a woman that chance in education was frowned upon when civilization occurs.
While women are no longer denied the opportunity in education in the newly improved society, there is still that distinction when it comes to determining the roles women ought to play in the society.
Women are not perceived as equals of men in the very same sector of work, even if they are both performing the exact same job function.
Questions of women’s capabilities are often raised, simply because it is a man’s job.
Issues of women being paid lower in salary compared to men in the same discipline is circulating the world these days, and is something which should be corrected.

It is not a matter of battle, but Feminism is calling for justice.
It is calling for the grounds of respect and to be equal to everyone.
We fight against racial, age, physical discrimination and this is the very same thing; we want no discrimination when it comes to gender.

Women have been oppressed way long enough; and it is time to put a stop to it.
It is all about Respect, and we want that.
Respect a female pilot, the way you would a male pilot.
Respect the female engineer/architect, the way you would a male engineer/architect.
Why can’t an astronaut be a woman, if she can do it?

The same thing goes both ways, why can’t a man be a nurse, or a professional ballet dancer?
Why can’t a man be a gynaecologist?
In that very same manner, it is not about being biased towards gender when it comes to the sector of employment opportunities or education but rather, to welcome all with open arms and heart for it is truly then that we are one.

One of the biggest issues faced in the call for feminism is the negative reactions from the society.

While I am happy to see that many has come to terms with the modern views of the eradication of gender-biased issues, there are still those who are protesting against it and even calling for boycotts of feminism or whoever who are in support of the movement.
It is disheartening to see that there is no shift in their mind’s outlook in this progressions of the world’s evolution and that there are still those restricted to their misogynistic beliefs that men are always above women and that women could never be as good as men.

It is even sadder when women themselves are in support of these views and even throw insults at women (and even men) who call for feminism and gender equality.
Yes, the biggest challenge is when our own kind do not stand in unison with the call to amplify the cause and to leverage the issue of the equality and even stand in protest, hurling derogatory remarks to put a stop to the entire cause.

The recent case of Emma Watson being threatened with leaks of her nude photographs immediately after the UN Goodwill Ambassador for Women gave her speech was a shocking awakening call to all for it represents the refusal to respect equality.
Emma Watson is not the only one angered by such demeaning threats, for it is clearly a threat to injustice.
It is a lowly tactic to resort to, and clearly depicts the need for more awareness campaigns.

Women are to be respected, and just because a woman speaks her mind, they are threatened with something personal and obviously to instill fear for it is not simply a threat, but rather a directed attack to bruise a woman’s personal ego by shaming her.
Shame on the perpetrator for believing that a woman ought to retreat with such threats, and as Emma Watson said, it is a clear sign that the cause should continue, and with even more aggression to rid the society of backdated views plaguing, or hindering the progression to the next level.

It is sad, but perhaps there is a different concern faced by these protesters in terms of their personal perception/misconception of the overall idea and the fear to change.
There may be more personal reasons; with origins in their very own family backgrounds, upbringing, education and peer pressure, but we are not here to judge.

It is time that awareness happens, and when men are joining in the action for feminism, you know it is not all about gender comparison.
Feminism is not putting men down while raising women to be men.
It is about embracing the uniqueness of our gender and recognizing our qualities, and respecting each other in their own skin.
Man and woman alike, are each special in their own ways and all we ask is for them to be treated in the same manner.

The notion that Feminism is to call for a crusade against men or promoting men-hating campaign should be eliminated from the mindset.
It is definitely not what feminism is all about.

Feminists do not hate men, and belittling men to elevate women’s social status is also not its objective.

It is all about Equality.
It is about Fairness.
It is to promote a world free of discrimination; and gender is one of them.
It is in all, about Respect.

I am a Feminist, because I want equal rights and fairness for both Men and Women.
I want men and women to be respected the same way.

Feminism is about Equality, and even men are wearing this tag proudly as they join in the cause to support equality in this year’s International Women’s Day.

Be proud to be a Feminist, because you believe in Equality and Fairness.
Now are you with me, or are you not?

I am a Feminist, and I am proud to be One.

Together, let’s echo the call for Gender Equality in conjunction with the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day 2015!

Let’s truly #MakeItHappen!

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