What is Feminism?

… and can a man be a feminist?

To put things clear, I am not a huge friend of categorisation, of “putting people in a box”. So, before calling anybody a feminist, before claiming being a feminist myself, maybe we should research a bit more and see if it is necessary at all to use this word, which easily could become an annoying tag.

I think that the idea of feminism is to make a statement, a serious statement, even necessary, to say: “we are here, we are smart, don’t you dare belittling us just because we are woman, and thinking you deserve better just because you are a man”. I’m choosing to put it in this words because I remember exactly when it struck me that something isn’t quite right, even in our so-called civilised society:
I was working in an advertising company a few years ago as a web and system developer. This is quite a serious job in a big company where important clients are waiting for high end designs and solutions. We were all very busy, very serious, very smart, and had a lot of fun working together. Two (from 4) of my managers were women. Impressive talents in organising the jobs and even helping us solving problems. They worked a lot, like all the managers. Then, one day, I was reading about salaries and the disturbing result that a woman in management position earn sometimes only two thirds or three quarter of what a man earns. “Why?”, I asked myself. Why would there possibly be a reason for a woman, who works as much as a man, with the same results, to earn less. Is it not the 21st Century? Are we not smart and have learned from the past? Have I missed anything?
I also recalled what I had learned even earlier during my studies as a translator: woman perform better in many tests connected to memory, they are more patient and often better organised, they have also great endurance. Then I remembered this girl in high school being the best in Maths in a class where Maths was our major field of study. So why should they earn less, still today, and nobody seems to care?
And there is much more than just these issues, of course, I am talking harassment, stupid harassment, and rape, verbal or physical, many times unpunished, or giving the woman a part of the guilt in the case. What was this sad story about the woman killed in a Melbourne park? “A police officer suggested women shouldn’t be alone in parks”… (abc.net.au)
Well, Yes! Women SHOULD be alone in parks! And nothing SHOULD happen. That’s what we are aiming for. Don’t we agree?

I have written at the beginning of this post that the idea of feminism is to make a statement. It goes of course much further than that. A statement, for sure, that is why such groups are created. But feminism has also a long history, and a heavy background in literature. How exciting will it be to research about that?

This will be all for today. You are all welcome to give your opinion and make suggestions. This is talk, and fun.

1 Comment on What is Feminism?

  1. Love the idea Jerome!!
    If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

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