- Gesche Andert
Feminism 101: a personal opinion
Attempt number 3. Every time I start writing this article, it either gets way too long or I learn something new about feminism.
The definition of feminism as written in the Duden is: "Feminism, a direction of the women's movement which, starting from the needs of women, strives for a fundamental change in social norms (e.g. the traditional distribution of roles) and patriarchal culture". This is certainly not wrong, but in my opinion it is also not the whole truth. As with every social movement, there are different forms and subgroups, which is why we unfortunately always have to deal with the one or other "feminazi" comment.
How do I personally define feminism? As the dictionary says, it is about a fundamental change in social norms and patriarchal culture. However, I don't think it is or should be about a women-only movement. Though it is primarily about women's equality, it is also about redefining femininity and being feminine. Femininity or attributes that are mostly attributed to women are unfortunately still very often seen as something weak, bad and "too" emotional. This can also have negative effects on men, who then find it difficult to deal with their feelings or limit their personality. Male attributes, on the other hand, are seen as strong and good. If a woman has masculine attributes, however, it is usually not "beautiful", but loud and disturbing. What’s the reason for this? Unfortunately, our society is still predominantly of the opinion that women are most pleasant when they go through the day in a reserved and affirmative manner, leave spaces to the men and, best of all, conform to their beauty ideals.
I don't mean to belittle the progress we owe to the many women (and men) before us. Laws, rules and sometimes systems have been changed to improve women's opportunities. A change in thinking has been set in motion, but it will take a long time to become entrenched in society. Socialisation and education cannot be re-learned overnight and, unfortunately, usually not in a lifetime. So the basic idea is to educate the next generations so that they are not limited by outdated role models and systems. However, this process will probably take several generations.
Feminism is a long-term project that simply put aims at gender equality. Feminism is loud and sometimes uncomfortable. Feminism takes up space and demands attention ... So, basically, feminism is like an old white man.
All joking aside. For me, feminism is a social movement for all genders that has more facets than letters. Feminism fights for women's freedom of choice. If you like pink, that's great. If you only wear black, that's great. If you choose to be there full time for your family, that's great. If you want to do your career, that's great - actually, everything is great as long as it's your own free will. It's a radical change that requires active change.