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Feminism defined

December 4, 2012
Daily Press


When I say "feminism," what do you think of? If you're like me before I took a class on the topic, you probably think of angry lesbians with hairy legs. This representation is a result of misinformation, and I'm here to change your views.

First, let's talk about the definition of feminism. Really, there is no definition that completely encompasses the meaning of the word. There are many different types of feminism, and they all stand for different things. A definition that I have developed throughout the course that makes the most sense to me is: when one believes in the true equality of men and women. It's very simple compared to other definitions that you might find, but I believe that it holds true for each type of feminism. And really, it's true. Most feminists do not seek to overpower men as a group. Rather, they want to be seen as equal.

Now, think of feminist themes that might appear in your life. Do you feel underpaid as compared to your male coworkers? The issue of equal pay in the workplace is one that is being fought right now! What's your stance on abortion? If you feel that in cases when the life of the mother is at stake, perhaps abortion should be legal, you're probably a feminist! Or maybe you think that motherhood is a beautiful thing and aborting pregnancies is wrong. There's a niche in the world of feminism for you as well. What about the media representation of women (and men). Do you feel that it sets unrealistic standards for us? That's a feminist issue, too! The list goes on. Almost everything in life can be tied to a feminist issue in some way or another.

Even if you're not a woman, but feel strongly about the rights and issues surrounding them, you can still be a feminist. And guys, if that doesn't sound manly enough for you, just call yourself a pro-feminist. Lots of other men do!

If any of the things I just talked about interest you, I would highly recommend taking the Women's & Gender Studies course at Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba. It's offered in the fall semester, from late August until mid-December.

This course will open your eyes to a whole slew of interesting issues that you may have never heard about.

Emily Berger




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