While surfing the internet yesterday I came across an article discussing
women and their role in a changing society. The article, which was written by
Karin Crosbie stated that although women have come a long way in the field of
women's rights, there is still a long way to go. Crosbie stated that she is a
feminist, and as a feminist it is her responsibility to see that action is taken
to further the cause of the women by any means necessary. She explains that
women should not have to prove anything to men by such means as shaving their
legs, nor conform by covering up the natural self with makeup.
I agree with the overall concept she is trying to convey, I feel that
women do need to take action, and that not all opportunities are yet equal. The
problem I have with her article is the image that she and other contemporary
activists are coveying to the rest of society.
When I think of a feminist two pictures come into mind. The first, which
maybe a little outdated is a women like Susan B. Anthony, someone fighting for
real issues that matter. The second is of a women like the author above, someone
who is extreme just to be extreme. To my disappointment it seems the later is
becoming more prevalent within society.
After reading the article I scrolled down the page to where it listed
"more feminist links", the five that were given consisted of; three lesbian
rights pages, and two "neo-feminist pages". Thinking this must be only a small
percentage of feminist pages which were given by this specific author, I went
back and searched many of the feminist pages on the web myself. To my unpleasant
surprise it turned out that almost all were expressive of the same extreme theme.
So what does the current view of feminists as a whole mean to society? I
feel that the current view of feminists is detrimental to the women's movement.
One reason is that I feel the current views expressed by Crosbie are not only
unattractive but in a way repulsive. Once women could be proud to say they were
feminists. Today it is some kind of extreme word that places you amongst
radicals. This image could turn away perspective activists who would be major
contributors to the movement. Another reason is that the focus has become more
on trivial extremities then on real issues. No one cares if women shaves her
legs or not, and although it might be some kind of symbolic stand I feel it is a
meaningless one. Not only are people now embarrassed to be associated with the
word, but it is losing its creditability.
It seems clear to me that the word feminist ought to represent women who
are trying to make real changes within the context of society for the common
good of all women sincere women who dedicate their lives in tireless effort to
causes which make a difference in how people are treated and not to people who
feel being extreme and getting attention are what matters most. If we can dothis,
and reverse the trend which the word is now taking, we will not only be doing a
favor to the women's rights movement as a whole, but will be correcting an
injustice that has no place in such a noble cause
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