Redefining Feminism

 

 


Gender Agenda

Gender Agenda
Issue 1 Lent 2003
The magazine of


Women's Union

Redefining feminism – an article for the
everyday woman
Sarah Mackie

To the average strong, intelligent, independent female, “feminist” is a
term she often fears labelling herself. Like the majority of modern
educated young women, she wants to succeed, she has drive, she isn’t
dependent on man for support be it financial, emotional or otherwise, she
is rational, she is secure, she knows her worth. So why then won’t she
grant herself the F word?

So we ask, what is feminism? What is it we are afraid of? Most would
immediately refer to the stereotyped bra burning, hair shaving, marching
radical who is anti-man, anti-femininity, and anti-pretty much anything
else. So is it the stereotype that we fear? A fear of the failure to
live up to the idea of what a so-called feminist must be? Surely this
rule alone contradicts an element of what we are fighting
for; liberation, freedom to believe and live as we please. So, are we
conforming to a dated and unrealistic idea of feminism, or is it still
necessary to adhere to such extremes to justify ourselves worthy
feminists?

With today’s medical, biological and anthropological knowledge, we
should be able to look at and re-assess the Laws of Nature and natural
social patterns that exist between males and females and draw grounded
realistic and accurate truths to begin to accept what was intended for
men and for women.

In the government of the physical world, it is observable that the
female is in general, inferior to the male. This is the law of nature,
and it does not appear to be abrogated in favour of woman. She has a
smaller body frame and a lesser muscle density; does it necessarily have
to be considered “weak” to accept the difference in physical strength and
ability?

Why is it “anti-feminist” to want to be attractive to men? We (human
beings) are here after all to reproduce and evolve ultimately; male and
female sexual attraction is the most natural instinct and obviously
keeping all in moderation (I’m not for a second suggesting that it is
okay for men to take this desire to the extreme that some are guilty of
doing and regarding women merely as sexual objects), but being desired
sexually by one’s evolutionary counterpart is part of the natural
process.

Why can we not enjoy our given femininity? I don’t mean bottle-dyed
flowing locks accompanied by air resilient breasts in mini skirts; but
our natural womanly shapes and assets.

Shouldn’t we be able to surrender to those things predestined by nature
such as emotional differences due to hormonal contrast and
variation? Such dissimilarities are often blamed on social conditioning,
more pronounced in some communities than others and undoubtedly, society
has a lot to explain to some extent but the proven truth reveals that
categorically, different chemical reactions take place to evoke different
feelings. Maternal instincts are an undeniable example. The menstrual
cycle (and all that comes with it), another.

This dis-acceptance of innate female characteristics has led to a
self-denial and instead of celebrating and loving womanhood in every
sense, it has been repressed and disliked by the very woman herself, she
tries to become like her adversary instead of being true to her
own. This, surely, is ultimate tyranny. We need to be proud of who and
what we are and love every part of what makes us woman.

Remarkable women have progressed such a distance over the years, we
have their eminence to thank for the position we are in today, and we do
still have some length to go before we reach equality. We must use our
voices; yes we do need to fight for equal pay, we must support the
increase of women as political figures and officials, we have to rouse
and persist for more interest in womens’ sport, we want to see more
women in the clergy and we must never give up the fight against men who
mug the elderly and rape the young because they own the physical
power. These justices are our birthright and any intelligent woman will
want to fight for them. We can’t rest until we have all we deserve, but
I think we run the risk of becoming disillusioned along the way amidst
the battle and perhaps we need to re-address what constitutes
equality. Men and women are different animals, is it truly possible to
apply one set of rules to two different entities?

 

 


 

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