Friday, October 17, 2014

Feminism {A Dictionary}

To be clear and honest, I still consider myself a newbie in the community that is feminism. But I received an interesting and very fun to complete request from Catalina who is a fellow blogger I've gotten to know in a not creepy online blogging sort of way. Catalina wanted a a dictionary type post explaining and outlining the terms that most often crop up in a feminist setting. To be honest, the post seemed beyond my own minuscule expertise but I found it to be surprisingly quite easy and fun.

I not only hope you enjoy this, but also reference it in situations further in the future. Every one of the definitions will be full out copy and pasted from oxford dictionary dot com to provide a simple and non-arguable format. I considered cutting out some things that seemed unnecessary in each definition, but I realized this isn't for myself but for other people. Whose to say they won't find something meaningful in the same thing I found to be useless. Below the formal definition I've included my own snippet of thoughts because online I've grown into an opinionated person who must interject her opinions when need be. I can't say it's a bad thing.

But I digress. Let's begin.



The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
The issue of rights for women first became prominent during the French and American revolutions in the late 18th century. In Britain it was not until the emergence of the suffragette movement in the late 19th century that there was significant political change. A ‘second wave’ of feminism arose in the 1960s, with an emphasis on unity and sisterhood.

I think the term feminism is one of the most biased and misunderstood words in and of itself. Many people associate feminism with other words that produce a negative connotation in general (man hating being the most common). I can argue that feminism is no such thing until my head turns blue, but most people are so thoroughly stuck on either hating or embracing feminism that arguing will do no such good. Feminism does not necessarily mean man hating, there's actually a word for that—it's called misandry—which actually really does mean hatred of males.

Pat Robertson coined this phrase in the 90s, but many people would hang this on their
living room walls in true belief even today. Just another example of the
misunderstandings of feminism.
Don't get me wrong either, I said it doesn't necessarily mean man hating intentionally as there are women who are feminist who really do dislike the male population. Google "radical feminism" and you'll find plenty who hate 90-100% of the male population, but that's their own cup of tea and I and many other feminist drink a completely different one. Yes some feminist do dislike men, but it's not a criteria to hate every man to join the club.



Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

A lot of people throw this word around on five paragraph long youtube comments and heated arguments on facebook. Many fellow feminists call anyone who disagrees with their feminist beliefs a misogynist. This is a sticky situation to navigate if we're being real here. It's easy to jump to the conclusion that people who disagree with feminism hate women. I mean, how can anyone disagree with gender equality?

But going back to my first definition, a lot of people are misinformed on what it actually means to be a feminist. We're portrayed as lesbians who want to abort all babies and demolish the church while simultaneously ruining the work place with our beliefs that we can someday be CEOs. Many people disagree with feminism because they're pro-life and they simply assume we're all pro-choice. I know a feminist or two who are pro-life and they're just as much as a feminist as I am. There's no cookie cutter check list that defines someone as a feminist. The only true "qualification" (in my opinion) is the belief of social, political, and economic equality among women and men.

Nevertheless there are people who hate feminism because they really do hate women. But there are also people who disagree with feminism because they disagree with our beliefs, despite the fact that we don't all necessarily believe in the same exact things, just one general idea.



Of, relating to, or characteristic of a system of society or government controlled by men.

I like to say I'm fighting to change the habits and beliefs of our patriarchal society when people ask what I mean by the fact that I'm a feminist. A lot of people argue that the patriarchal society was demolished in the western world ages ago but I beg to differ. The fact that women still take the man's last name is a basic point to begin with. Also women make up roughly 50% of the United States' population yet our representation in Congress is well below that. 20 of the 100 politicians who make up the Senate are women and 79 of the 435 representatives in the House are female. That means 20% of the Senate and 18.2% of the House of Representatives are female and yet we make up 50% of the population as whole.

one of my absolute favorite movie actresses + one of my top five feminist quotes
Not to mention the fact that we still see women as caregivers and men as the bread winners of the family. Working moms are often told they are missing their children's lives while the same thing is rarely ever said to a working father. It is immediately presumed that women in the position of power either don't have kids or do not provide adequate time to their family. Even as a teenager people often add comments to my career choices (as I've yet to choose just one) that I should put consideration into the amount of time I'll be able to put forth into having a family.

But I digress.

I'm going to sign off from this post as I'm starting to realize this is incredibly long. Look for another post in a procrastinated manner (possibly a few weeks or months who knows). I definitely have more words to share and define in future post(s). If you have a feminist related word that you're confused about or comes to your mind please let me know in the comment section. I'll for sure put them up in the next post and hopefully I'll be able to get a few more posts out of this beautiful idea from Catalina.

Until then, have a fabulous day.


  1. *bookmarks this*
    The thing is, I see a lot of rants and things about feminism on tumblr- but tumblr isn't very interactive when it comes to trying to pin someone down for information. I loved this post because I felt it helped me understand things better!

    1. I'm so glad you found this helpful! And just let me know if you have anymore questions on specific terms as there's already another post in the works. I can't thank you enough for the suggestion to do this!!

  2. Is sad that a lot people have the wrong idea of what it means to be feminist. Thanks for sharing this information with us. Great post!

    1. The misinterpretation of feminism is quite honestly one of my biggest pet peeves. I spend so much time trying to educate my peers when they make off handed comments about my thoughts and beliefs it's unreal. I'm glad you enjoyed this!