Feminism can encompass a plethora of different meanings depending on who you ask. Feminism can be the empowerment of women or the equality of men and women. Feminism can be the advocacy of women’s rights, but everyone seems to interpret this abstract concept a little differently. I asked ten males to describe what feminism meant to them, and the variety of responses reflects the ambiguity and complexity that surrounds the idea of feminism.
Shane Smith of New Jersey says that feminism is the fight for women’s rights in order to achieve gender equality. Shane believes that feminism is often misconstrued among men as a movement that puts men down. According to this particular male, feminism is simply the fight for gender equality among men and women, and it is a necessary movement in order to achieve complete and utter equality among the genders.
Laz Lett of Tuscaloosa, Alabama took a different approach to the question. Laz says, “Feminism is/was necessary to the development of our society because without it, women would have never had any rights. Without women’s contributions to society we would not be where we are today". Laz believes that feminism is the evolution and growth of women being integrated into a dominantly male’s world.
Robert Lemons of Monroeville, Alabama believes that feminism is an ideology that praises the elements of womanhood. Robert says that to him, feminism is less of a movement and more of a system of ideas and ideals that surrounds this abstract concept of womanhood. Robert also says that feminism is the integrations of this ideology into society in order to achieve social change and gender equality.
Terry Fawley(right) completed the phrase “Feminism is…" with one simple word that speaks volumes: equality. Terry disagrees with the common misconception that feminism is based on the foundation that women are better than men. Terry explains, “ Feminism is solely about the equality among men and women, not the superiority of one gender over another". In Terry’s opinion, this misinterpretation is common because it is the result of allowing one’s pride to blind one from rational logic and reason.
On the other hand, Larry Thorton(Left) of Jackson, Mississippi thinks that feminism is a social movement with the agenda of achieving equality to make up for the gender inequality that constitutes the history of this country. Larry believes that feminism is a response to the foundation of this country that provided an environment that favors dominantly males.
Jacob Pinion of Nebraska(2nd from right) says that feminism is the awareness of the gender inequality that exists today. Jacob believes that the first step to social change is the awareness of the current state that exists within society. For Jacob, feminism is the realization that women haven’t had and don’t currently have the exact same opportunities as men.
Kyle Knope (2rd from left) of Nebraska says that feminism is a set of beliefs that seeks to achieve gender equality. Kyle believes that feminism is more of a belief system than a social movement because, “Feminism isn’t just a phase; It is timeless".
Jeremy Holmes and Brandon Chissolm of South Carolina believe that feminism is a movement that emphasizes the equality of men and women. Jeremy says ," Feminism is powerful. Feminism is equality. Feminism is needed in our society". Amen, Jeremy, amen.
David Jones(3rd from the left) of Birmingham, Alabama says that feminism is a way for women to celebrate their womanhood and a fight for equality among genders. David says, “ I like to think of feminism as a celebration because to me it is a commemoration of how amazing women are". I don’t know about you, but I like the way David thinks. His interpretation in particular shows me how beautiful and important feminism really is.
As you can see, feminism can mean a number of different things to different people. One thing is for sure, feminism is an empowering movement to many young men and women around the world.