Separate views, equal women

The feminist movement has a long history with many interpretations. It’s a common misconception that feminism aims to make women the social equals of men. While this isn’t totally false, it’s a problematic position to a multi-faceted argument, one where feminism is often interpreted as a negative thing for a woman to support.

One in five women may accepts the “stereotypical” gender role of the housewife; however, we have to ask what the value in women sharing a common vision of what equality means. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t agree with Malcolm X about how to handle the civil rights movement. How can we expect a women’s rights movement to do the same?

More so, does one specific definition of feminism dismiss the definitions of people of other races, class or gender as factors that do not fall within binaries of white, male and female? People who identify as transgender, non-gendered or outside of the upper or middle class majority in this broad definition of feminism are continually reminded by society’s gender roles that they do not share a common social status.

Feminists must make their intentions clear to a public that may be confused by its ever-changing philosophies. Communication between both sides of the argument, es-pecially men, is key. Though misandry, the hatred or dislike of men, is often seen as a stereotypical characteristic of a “bad” feminist, men are often ignorant to the fact that they may be the cause of this hate.

Some men often hide their contempt for women behind their defensiveness of critiques of their practices or lifestyles, such as in movements like GamerGate where men lashed out online at Anita Sarkeesian for pointing out misogynistic tropes in many male-oriented video games. Worse yet is young women that are often raped or sexually assaulted by men in their lives, yet when they turn away from men or identify as lesbian, they are shunned completely or ignored.

Feminism should seek not to unite just women under one of it’s many definitions. Instead, feminists should seek to be separate while equal. Taking separate sects of the oppressed communities, uniting them despite their differences, all for one cause — to end sexist oppression, for all people.