The Evolution Of Feminism

Okay, so we’ve discussed the definition, the myths, seen some important photographs and gone over the glory, pride and misunderstandings of feminism in our present society, but it seems that no one has truly addressed the many faces, sides and dynamics of what feminism truly is. So we’ll start this off with Webster’s definition of feminism as a review:

Fem•i•nism  noun

: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and equal opportunities

: organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests


And we’ll add in Beyonce’s definition for safe measure, to reassure the message gets across:

Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

The feminist movement has evolved through the years since it’s origination in 1848 into something almost unrecognizable. It’s as if women today have become desensitized to why feminism is important, what it was founded on and what had to be done by a few outstanding and extraordinary women to get our gender this far.

I’ve watched as our generation has molded feminism into some type of girl power lifestyle, something I’m incredibly grateful for and completely in support of but can honestly see how this new movement can and has resulted in “nay-sayers.”

I recently stumbled upon an article written by Tara Kennedy-Kline who stated that as a mother and a female, she has chosen to not raise her two boys to be feminists.

Crazy, right?

Though Kennedy-Kline’s beliefs are grounded in what our current society has defined feminism as, which includes the Free the Nipple Campaign, the idea that women wearing less or revealing clothing is empowering and should not result in the steady gaze of men, and that women should reject chivalry, it still seems rather silly to not raise your children to believe that women should receive equal treatment, equal pay and equal opportunity.

It’s as if our current society has somehow managed to twist and turn the meaning of feminism into something completely separate from it’s intended solution.

Womens-march

The meaning behind the feminist movement appears to be lost, because there is more focus in the media on showing our breasts and wearing provocative clothing than there is on equality of pay and gender discrimination.

Moving forward is good, and I understand that our gender has evolved and that it’s a different time, so there will be different activist causes. But we must keep our thoughts with the past when it comes to the issues of equality.

Let’s not forget the “Rule of Thumb” in which it was legal to beat your wife as long as the switch that you used was not wider than that of your thumb, the “Men Only” description that resided in the job section of all newspapers across the nation, that we were once viewed as property of our husbands, or that our ideas and accomplishments were “weak” or “inadequate” in comparison to men. The very fact that I am allowed to write this article goes against the original beliefs held by the majority only fifty years ago.

Are you keeping up, Kennedy-Kline?

Feminism was not created so that Miley Cyrus could twerk on stage, nor so women could show the world their breasts whenever they wish. It was created to show and prove that we are equal to the opposite sex, that we are valuable, independent and a necessary contribution to our society.

I am aware that every movement has different perspectives, whether it’s religiously, racially, or politically motivated. Whether you believe that Miley Cyrus and Chelsea Handler are representatives of the feminist cause (again, as a reminder, the definition being the equality of the sexes) and if their stance is harmful or helpful to gender equality is up to you. All I suggest is that we remember where we came from and keep in mind how far we have to go before we take our clothes off in the name of equality.

Isabella Roy

Contributor, Savannah College of Art and Design Major: Writing Her heart belongs to: Zach Galifianakis Her guilty pleasures: stand up comedy, short stories, Quentin Tarantino, Mindy Kaling and Jack White.

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