This Is The Result Of Confusing Feminism and Humanism
Feminism. We’ve all heard about it. We all have our perceptions and evaluations of the term, but do we truly understand its tenets? For reasons I have yet to understand, the term feminism still rattles some bones. There are plenty of public figures who disassociate themselves, women perhaps being at the helm, and find self-proclaimed feminists to be irksome.
As a millennial and especially as a female, I find this troubling. Feminism: a belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. Equality for men and women? Oh, sounds scary, intimidating even! We live in the 21st Century, and at least here in the States, our society is non-patriarchal. Let us be reminded that the strongest and most politically erudite candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election is a female — #HillforPrez.
Detach From Feminism
A number of celebrities and public figures have. Katy Perry, Shailene Woodley, Kelly Clarkson, who believes the term is ‘too strong,’ Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, who purports to be a ‘humanist,’ not a feminist, and alas, even the first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor. Meadowland star Olivia Wilde disagrees with her fellow Hollywood stars.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Olivia Wilde discusses her confusion surrounding the disassociation, saying that she thinks it’s “weird” that anyone would distance themselves from the term. “I think people have a hard time understanding exactly what it means,” she said. “If people understand it simply means equality, then possibly they would have an easier time standing up for that.”
The Wage Gap
It isn’t a myth and is very much real. There are some who contend that the 78 cents to a man’s dollar statistic is outdated, but as Orange Is The New Black actor Matt McGorry emphasizes, “we all KNOW that women make less than men (and minority women make even less than white women). In an imaginary world, even if the 78 cent statistic wasn’t completely accurate, we still KNOW that there’s a disparity.” McGorry’s analysis is spot on. We need equality and we need not fear it. Equal societies thrive and prosper, and strong women yield strong societies.
“I’ve always considered myself a feminist, although I was always afraid of that word because people put so much on it,” Beyonce tells CNN. “When honestly, it’s very simple. It’s just a person that believes in equality for men and women. Men and women balance each other out, and we have to get to a point where we are comfortable with appreciating each other.” When it comes to men and the cultural pressures they face, “I have a lot of empathy,” Beyonce continues. “I have the same empathy for women and the pressures we go through. … I consider myself a humanist.”
Beyonce’s ideology claims that the two are not compatible, when in fact, being a humanist also means being a feminist. The essence of a humanist is caring for the development, empowerment, and prosperity of all human beings. When a divide exists, thwarting equality, a true humanist will stand up for measures that ensure equality prevails. Equality for women does not translate to inequality for men. Intimidation factor is thus removed.
If millennials intend to build a strong future for our generation, and those that will succeed us, we must remain true to the principles inherent in ‘equality for all.’ It’s time to strengthen our girls, raise strong daughters, and ensure that a future bounded in equality for females and their male counterparts exists.