Let’s Talk About the “F” Word!
No, not that “F” word, but feminism. Let’s talk about Feminism. Feminism is one of the largest social movements in the United States, yet the term itself, feminism, is one of the most widely misused and misinterpreted concepts. Typical stereotypes against feminism include women who are man haters, women who don’t shave, women who burn their bras, and women who are outspoken and deemed “troublesome.” Firstly, there is no definitive way a person is supposed to act or physically appear in order to follow and promote the values upheld through the feminist movement. Secondly, while the term “feminist” may suggest something fully female, it is not exclusive of males. As a matter of fact, female individuals who hate men are known as misandrists (like a misogynists, only the other way around. Yes, this is a thing, so let’s not get it confused with feminism so we can address the core values upheld by the feminist movement and move away from the stereotypes.).
The feminist movement has not always had the best reputation, starting at its roots hundreds of years ago. Part of the issue stems from a few outspoken individuals, but mostly it stems from a lack of understanding the core values of feminism and the ultimate mission behind the movement. We need to continue to education and support the feminist movement in order to make effective change in this world.
The Dynamics of Feminism
Now that we’ve discussed what feminism is not, let’s discuss the dynamics of feminism. In its simplest form, feminism promotes social, political, legal, and economic equality for all sexes and genders. From the beginning of human civilization up to today’s modern society, there has been an imbalance between men and women*, with men gaining significantly more advantages, privileges, and power than women, and this needs to end (*please note that the terms men and women here is used in the biological sense and is not intended to dismiss or exclude any gender.). Specific issues addressed within the feminist movement include:
- The Pay Gap and Workplace Inequality: Women working in professional positions make significantly less money than their male colleagues in the same or similar positions. Additionally, males have been given significantly more opportunities for higher positions within companies, with women only making up about 3-4% of CEO positions at larger companies and corporations in the United States.
- Politics: There are a couple of issues the feminist movement addresses when it comes to politics. Firstly, the number of women in political office is significantly less than the number of men in office, with an average of 20% women in politics in the United States. Secondly, there have been a number of laws passed in regards to women, their bodies, and particular issues. Personal choices and women’s issues should not be addressed in politics, but they are.
- Sexual Assault, Harassment and Abuse: Whether or not an individual understands the dynamics of the feminist movement, many people can determine that sexual assault, harassment, and abuse is wrong. However, the annual reports of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse are staggeringly and alarmingly high, with reports ranging from unwanted comments, to rape, to human trafficking. Additionally, these are only the reports we hear about. The problem is that the voices of the victims are not being heard and these crimes are being dismissed or completely ignored. In order to make effective change, we need to change the way the issues are addressed to begin with. The United States needs to stop dismissing these crimes and stop treating victims like criminals so that the real crimes can be stopped once and for all. Please read this amazing Essay which discusses the affects of sexual abuse in the military for a deeper perspective on the sorts of issues feminism addresses when it comes to sexual abuse.
- Domestic Abuse: Domestic abuse is never okay, whether the victims are women, men, or children. The problem with most domestic abuse is that the victims are fearful of their attacker, and allow these behaviors to continue. The feminist movement strives to put an end to domestic abuse by letting victims know that their voices can and will be heard and that victims will be safe.
The feminist movement strives to create goals, ideals, visions, and beliefs of how society should evolve to provide equality for everyone. To be clearer, the feminist movement does recognize that all genders have different strengths, perspectives, and in some instances different roles, so the ultimate goal is not to take away the identity of every individual despite gender. But rather, the feminist movement promotes that all genders have equal worth socially, economically, and legally.
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Quiet Mountain Essays
Quiet Mountain Essays is an online journal of original feminist writings published five times per year. Contributors write on a variety of feminist topics so long as there is openness, equality, and total respect for everyone. Given the sensitivity of some of the topics, we understand that there may be some views, topics, and opinions some individuals may not agree with, but that’s okay. We are here to provide a platform to express various ideas, experiences, and theories. Please read further About Quiet Mountain Essays and the sorts of essays you can expect to find in this online journal.
Why Feminist Writing is Important
In order for the feminism movement to take hold and make positive changes, we need to express all ideals to make a change with a positive outcomes. One of the best ways to do that is to hear the voices of real women expressing real issues, thoughts, and experiences. Quiet Mountain Essays created its online journal to provide an opportunity for writers to contribute their feminist voices and for readers to view a variety of feminist writings to help strengthen the movement. When you visit Quiet Mountain Essays, you can find:
- Archived issues of previously published journals on Quiet Mountain Essays.
- The opportunity to Submit your works to be published in Quiet Mountain Essays.
- Links to helpful Women’s Resources.
- Links to other Feminist Websites.
- Links to some other Great Websites from cool organizations.
- A Calendar of up and coming events of interest.
Do you have something you want to contribute or would you like to keep updated on everything we do? Feel free to Contact us with further questions, ideas, or comments. Additionally, you can follow us on our Facebook page to get updated on everything current happening.
Quiet Mountain: New Feminist Essays
A Journal of Women’s Writing
Vol. V; No. I
QME Anniversary Issue
“QME enters its 5th year – Happy Birthday, QME!”
Windy Lynn Harris
Capturing the Moment
Tara L. Lacoursiere