Kya Chanlevitz
Jul 18, 2017

Should we rename "Feminism"?

4 comments

Edited: Jul 18, 2017

I've noticed that the word "feminism" itself has earned itself a negative connotation with a hefty amount of people. According to Merriam Webster, feminism is defined as 1. "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" and 2. "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests". However, because of the first half of the word, many people misinterpret it into thinking feminism is promoting an ideal where women should be held above men aka misandry. Of course, feminism was a term first penned during the movement for women's suffrage, hence the reason for it using "fem-".

 

Someone suggested that the word be changed to something more neutral in order to diminish the incorrect connotation and gather more supporters. I personally prefer "feminism", as there is still a need for the empowerment of women, plus simply the history of the word. Thoughts?

Esther Brito Ruiz
Jul 27, 2017

I don't believe changing the name "Feminism" to another is a correct route to take. The word is fundamental in the need to recognize the inequality women have historically faced and still do. Any word that refers to a change in societal power structures will be beat down and ultimately have negative connotations to some extent, precisely because existing structures will automatically renegate from it. My belief is that feminism, both in concept and mission, represents a fight for equal rights that will not be without opposition, but ultimately has achieved great things, and is fundamental to the rights I now have. What I do think is important, is to breach the division within the feminist movement; as I don't believe that equality can ever be achieved without intersectionality. Issues pertaining transgender rights and the rights of those who do not conform to the gender binary, issues pertaining racial discrimination, and issues regarding religion, must also find themselves within feminism.

Jacqui Guerra
Jul 29, 2017

I've heard people use the phrase gender equality in place of feminism. As we all know, feminism (at least, in my definition) is synonymous to gender eqaulity. However, there are those who only associate the word with the betterment of women, or as some people think "putting women before men," causing some to misinterpret its definition. I think that gender equality might be easier for people to associate with equality between any and all genders, though it may be redundant. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a way to cleanse feminism of the negative connotation some see with it, even while its values are still valiant.

Bhavana Ravala
Aug 5, 2017

I think the problem with the word feminism is the rise of third-wave feminism and feminazism, which sometimes do border on misandry. In the United States and other first-world countries, the word feminism is outdated, but in the rest of the world women's empowerment needs to remain the main focus.

Kya Chanlevitz
Aug 5, 2017

Yeah, I think people sometimes having a hard time trying to distinguish feminists from radical feminists, or feminazis, which in turn only hurts the feminist movement even more. Like with every belief/ideals system, in the spotlight, extremists tend to end up representing the whole.

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