There is one question I wish to ask, “what is the first thing that comes to mind when one hears of the term ‘Feminism’”? Is it the image of women demanding their rights to vote, to have careers of their own, to learn whatever they so wish and suchlike things or something else entirely? Perhaps what pops up in our heads are the endless posts on social media that proclaim how women are always right, that women are superior to men, basically amounts of ceaseless arguments about how the gentler sex are superior to their masculine counterpart. It goes without saying, to anyone with a clue about what Feminism actually is, that the authors/posters/whatever-they-are’s of the latter category have pretty much missed the entire point of the Feminist ideology. For the purpose of conjuring up Feminism in the first place is not to displace men, to overthrow one gender for another; rather its central goal is to establish equality amongst the two disparate groups.
It is a bitter truth of humanity’s history, that womenkind have been oppressed by the patriarchy of men. Why such a thing could happen remains debatable. Some theorize that the oppression stemmed from men’s luck of not having to be pregnant, thus allowing them to continuously hunt, battle, and do all sorts of activities that raise one’s prestige. The more sexist of these theorists—if we were willing to grant them such a title—suggests that females are inherently inferior and thus should bow down to the superiority of men; these people should of course be ignored, for reasons as simplistic as common sense. Regardless of the root cause(s) of how and why women were, and in most parts of the world still are repressed, we must accept that this revolting phenomena persists to this day and that it needs to be eliminated. However we must never use them as justifications for deepening the chasms between genders in favor of the feminine, though there are tempting reasons to do so.
Even in states as developed as the United States of America, the average woman’s salary is considerably lower than the men who hold the same positions as her. In Middle-Eastern nations, the rampancy of abuses towards women, from rape, “honor” killings, and so forth are not out of the ordinary. In India, one of the fastest developing economies on the planet, forced marriages are still a daily occurrence. And not so long ago, my home, Indonesia, authorized the marriage of an Imam with a girl still younger than fifteen. These are all atrocities, and they barely scrape the surface of what men have done to women in the millennia we have coexisted. Though again, I must reiterate that these crimes should not prompt anyone to seek vengeance either through expanding and/or reorienting the gender gap.
Men and women are inherently different, from biological and maybe even psychological attributes, it is of necessity to treat them equally. Not in the sense of bastardized Feminism, where men need to be thrown under buses and such, but with the very definition of the word ‘equal’ as advocated by true Feminists. Which, dictates that all woman, child, and yes men, or those pertaining to any other categories should never be treated differently based on the traits they were born with—or whatever other factors that fall outside of their control. Of course, this view is not applicable to the disabled or mentally handicapped, and that pretty much goes without saying. Hence, Feminists did not declare that women should hold stations above men without question. They sought a meritocratic society, where all of humanity are evaluated based on their talents, abilities, as well as any quality we could attain after we’ve arrived on this Earth.
What “Tumblr Feminists” desire is the exact opposite of the noble objective to finally bring about an egalitarian utopia. Instead, they tarnish this aim with random demands with the intent of initiating feminine superiority; a repeat of what men did and are still doing. Rants on why women should hold positions of power at all times, that women can do no wrong, the list of idiocies go on and on. Replace the word “women” with “men” and it’s really just classic sexism. Ergo, it is of utmost necessity to salvage the stature of Feminism, for its utter usefulness in social justice and academics, to put a stop to the raving, sexist mob undeserving of the title “Feminist.”
There is much work to be done for actual Feminists. As peaceful as the world is today, sex-related crimes have not yet faded away. Women are treated unfairly in the workplace and sometimes in their own homes. In certain societies, they are perceived as nothing more than objects for men to enjoy. These are the wrongs that need to be rectified, by both men and women. Feminism is one of the most powerful tools we have to combat these injustices. We must not lose it, especially by letting the faith of the public waver simply because certain groups keep on preaching of the superiority of females—a severe detraction of Feminism’s ideals.
Preserve the integrity of Feminism. It has done such wonders as ushering in voting rights for women, creating a new class of people who do not devalue themselves into obedient housewives, push countless men into—at long last—acknowledging that the two sexes are equal. Remind ourselves that Feminism does not proclaim the eminence of females alone, but all of humanity, and that its aspiration is to haul each and every disenfranchised persons out of the socio-economic pits they’ve found themselves in.