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Mette Poynton

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Feminism and Sexism: Not the Same Thing!

Posted: 11/12/2012 13:15

I believe that feminism, in its original "form", is an irrelevant concept. What we need instead, is to tackle sexism and encourage men as well as women to change their perception of both genders.

I wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago named "Feminism is Over" - some women agreed with me on my points of view, some didn't. And that's okay, of course, if we all agreed on everything, what fun would conversation be?

But what all the different points of view basically mean, is that the word and concept of Feminism is very misunderstood - dare I say, by many of those calling themselves Feminists. I my opinion, what we need to tackle now is sexism on both sides of the fence - sexism towards women as well as towards men.

In the beginning of the 1900's, The Suffragettes fought for women's right to vote, a fight that lasted until 1928 when all women over the age of 21 were given the right to vote alongside men. Approximately 35 years later in the 1960's, the feminist movement began, a movement working towards ending women's traditional roles as housewives. The feminists fought for a change in the way people saw women, they wanted the world to know that women had the right and the ability to do anything men can do. Back then, the feminist movement was necessary and women wouldn't have been equal to men today, had it not been for the women who fought so hard then.

In my blog post the other day, where I looked at my own personal situation, I stated the following:

In my opinion, the feminists' fight is over... the hard part is done and it's time to find a balance rather than claim our women's rights at any cost! Because there is a cost. The price of feminism is that family life takes a backseat and this is a price I'm not willing to pay. I understand that some women may happily pay this price to get ahead fast in business, but I think many pay the price because they feel they have to, not because it is their first choice

Some of the comments I got from feminists were quite harsh - one feminist just chose to shake her head in disbelief hash tag style on Twitter. But all the comments I got from women who agreed with me were... well, thankful. They agreed with me and they thought it was great that someone voiced what was essentially their view on this matter.

I was inspired to write the blog post after reading an interview with Carla Bruni - she stated the following:

We don't need to be feminist in my generation. There are pioneers who opened the breach.
I'm not at all an active feminist. On the contrary, I'm a bourgeois. I love family life, I love doing the same thing every day.

She was later slated by feminists like Lucy Mangan on Stylist Magazine and Barbara Ellen on The Observer whose pieces on her views were the perfect examples of the type of feminist I so strongly disagree with, which is the kind that resorts to nasty name calling and verbal mud slinging when encountering a woman who does not share their beliefs. These are the kind of feminists who are their own worst enemies, they think they should be given all kinds of advantages simply BECAUSE they are women - if that is not inequality, what is?

And this brings me to my point in today: I strongly believe that Feminism IS over. What's alive and well, however, is Sexism and that is a subject ALL people, men as well as women, should concern themselves with. Feminism deals with unfairness and ineaquality towards women, sexism with unfairness and inequality towards both sexes. We need to bring up our sons and daughters in a world where women and men don't conform to pre-conceived notions about gender, something that cannot be accomplished through feminism.

So please, dear feminists, don't bully those who don't share your beliefs, don't be extremists and give what was a very worthwhile and completely necessary cause a bad name, let's fight together for true equality instead.

 

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