Feminism, Equal rights

Why Feminism Is NOT ‘The Fight for Equal Rights’

5690936543_c9793d534e_oPerhaps one of the first -and most frustrating- arguments one might encounter when entering into the gender equality debate, especially in criticism of feminism, is that the feminist movement is one that is dedicated to equality in our society. While on one side, those fighting for the awareness of diminished men’s rights are asserting that feminism is the cause of a new imbalance between the sexes, it is common to encounter the feminist voice on vlogs, blogs, in books, comics and in articles claiming that feminism is the best representation of a move toward equality. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it can be difficult to respond effectively to such a stubborn and misguided claim. Why do feminists believe the movement is the fight for equality?

In this article, I evidence why feminism is not about equality, why feminists think it might be, and how the emerging misandry or, at least, gender inequality toward men, is a direct result of this wave of feminism.

So, is feminism fighting for equality? With respect, no, it isn’t. Here’s why.

The fight for ‘equality’ of the first two waves of feminism fought to raise the standing of women in society where there were clear and vast imbalances. Men in all eras of history were also imprisoned in gender roles and forced to live and act accordingly, but it’s right that women’s liberation movements fought for balance in democracy, the right for women to work, earn, own property and shape their own lives. In order to fight for equality, the woman’s rights needed to be elevated to that of a man’s. In that era and political and social climate, fighting for the rights of women was, indeed, “the fight for equality”.

The new wave feminists constantly declare the fight for equality despite glaring oversights. Why? Today’s feminism fights a new and changed Western world with an old definition of what it means to fight for equal rights. Fighting solely for the rights of women was relevant to the first and second wave of the movement that were staring at glaringly biased legislation and cultural values, but in today’s changed world it is not only outdated, but misplaced.

Both genders, as citizens, now have equal rights. There are further developments that deserve attention for each gender, so a campaign should be run by both men and women who, together, tackle highlighted equality issues that affect men and/or women; it would be wrong to fight for, only, the rights of women, as feminism clearly does today.

We heat a room when it’s cold, but there comes a point when the temperature simply needs regulating to maintain a comfortable environment for everyone. To continue heating it, would become too hot. Too extreme. Where this wave of feminism is still cranking up the dial on the thermostat, past 22 degrees to Max Women’s Rights, it’s becoming uncomfortable.

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