The True Definition of Feminism

For my first post, I figured I’d use something I’ve already written on feminism. Here’s an abridged version of an essay I wrote for my teacher, Shannon Kenny:

Women denouncing feminism appears confusing, as it is contradictory. An article came out by Gina Davis, titled I Am a Female and I Am So Over Feminists. To fully understand what I’m about to talk about it, it’s probably best if you read her article in full. Davis does not follow what the term “feminism” means and appears rather uninformed on this particular theory.

Davis says the amount of women who watch sports are “not enough for TV stations to make money,”, but women are just as nearly interested in sports as men. According to an Adweek/ Harris Poll, fifty-five percent of women in the United States watch NFL sports. With some math, this makes up forty-percent of the overall people who watch NFL sports in the United States, leaving sixty-percent to a male following. Taking on Davis’ ideas: if a business ignores forty percent of their clientele, then they’re losing a lot of potential business. The notion that the sports market adheres to men more than women could be a huge factor for why women don’t watch sports to the number that men do, leaving the majority of male following of NFL sports influenced by stereotypes.

Davis argues another stereotype that women can’t be in the NFL. She says, “The male is made of more muscle mass, and the woman has a more efficient brain” However, according to a study by the National strength and Conditioning Association, women have two-thirds the amount of muscle mass as men. This study has found that women have body muscle geared towards balance and certain agile skills, while a man’s muscle is built for upper-body strength and large force. This is part of what Davis wrote about, but the study also says if a woman trains to the level that a man does she can reach an equal muscle mass as a man in upper body strength and force. And according to a study by a behavioral neuroscientist at Tel Aviv University, it was concluded that “There is no one type of male brain or female brain”. These studies show that a woman can take a “220-pound linebacker” if she so desires, and a man can do all the technical and communicative skills typically associated to women. Meaning there’s no reason that women cannot do one thing and men cannot do another.

Feminism is defined as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” These things show that everything else Davis argues is mute. Feminists don’t care for dominance, and “gentlemen” are not old-fashioned. If someone desires to be nice and pick up the bill on a date or hold the door for another, then regardless of their sex it is considered courteous and “gentlemen-like”. Feminists fight for the rights of men too, so when they say “I’ll take the bill” they mean it courteously. It could be understood that every time Davis uses the term “feminism” she is actually referring to what is often coined as “femi-nazis”; a slang term for the extremists, who try to take dominance over men.

Going on, Davis explains that “Women have more rights in the United States than anywhere else in the world,” which is mostly true. Women have more rights than those in a lot of third-world (or fourth-world) countries and other places in the world. There are women who still are forced into arranged-marriages, and there are women who are forced to receive genital mutilation from the time of birth. Even though in The United States women don’t face such oppression, women still encounter issues with sexual assault, sexual health rights, the right to get equal pay, day-to-day social discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, inability to enter the same occupational fields as men, and the list goes on.

With every feminist fighting for equality, women move closer to diminishing these poor impressions and to helping those in other countries who face deep oppression. It’s a wonder why Davis and many other women would refute feminists, as feminists are the ones who made it possible for them to refute anything to begin with. Feminists help all sexes and if someone acts as though this is wrong then it can be assumed that they are a “femi-nazi” and that “femi-nazis” are uninformed just like Davis.

Following this essay I wrote, please understand that anytime I use the word “feminism”, I’m referring to the bare minimum of the term; the Webster dictionary’s definition: “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes”. And what I mean when I say I’m a feminist is simply that there’s been a clear disparity between the sexes, outside of the biological differences, for many years. This causes poor things, so this should be addressed. Whether we can succeed at addressing it, and how we can address it, is definitely up to debate and not what I’m discussing by saying I’m a feminist.

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