The fight for equal rights amongst both males and females is believed to have begun with The Women’s Liberation Movement during the 1960s, which sought fundamental change in the structure and organization of society. However, the term “feminism” was first coined by the utopian socialist Charles Fourier, and was first used in English in the late 1890s, long before the archetypical Women’s Lib movement. For generations, feminism has evolved to encompass many different factors, including LGBTQ rights, minority and immigrant rights and even rights for men. However, when first introduced, the majority of individuals believed it was a movement solely based on the development of only women’s rights. Over the past decades, feminists across the globe have worked endlessly to vocalize the inclusiveness that feminism stands for. Feminism strives to incorporate equality for all people, no matter their gender, sexuality, race, class or religion.
It seems as though individuals of past generations have developed a misinformed notion of feminism, which continues to circulate today. However, this movement has been taking back it’s true identity through today’s youth. I decided to put this belief to the test. Over the past week, I have interviewed two men from different age demographics. I decided to interview males as the movement had originally been believed to be in support of just females.
My two interviewee's come from entirely different generations. Subject A is an older gentleman, age 54, and Subject B is a high school student, age 16. I asked both men the same six questions and recorded their answers.
Question #1: What do you believe the definition of feminism is?
Subject A: I think feminism is a radical movement of females in support of their rights. I do not see how the cause may be for men with a name like that.
Subject B: I believe feminism is to ensure equality for both genders. Although, I do believe it may be more in support of females. This is due to the fact that women have been seen as unequal to a man for years.
Question #2: Would you consider yourself to be a feminist?
Subject A: No, men cannot be feminists. It’s a group in support of females, why would I join?
Subject B: Of course! I believe that males and females should be equal, so yes, I am a feminist.
Question #3: What do you believe a woman's role in society is?
Subject A: I believe that women should have a role in the workplace, but ultimately their role is to be a mother. Having two daughters myself, I know it is their job to cook and clean alongside their mother.
Subject B: Whatever she wants to be. I know the typical joke is that females belong in the kitchen “making a sandwich” and cleaning, but honestly, women are capable of great things and shouldn't be restricted to just being a homemaker.
Question #4: Do you feel as if the definition of feminism has evolved to incorporate more than just females over the years? Or do you view it as still primarily for women?
Subject A: I still see it as just for women. This is because it started with women fighting for their rights. Although, I have seen more males joining the movement since I was younger.
Subject B: The only reason I would view feminism as being just for women is because of history. Women in history had to fight for their equality and till date are still doing so. Although, I do believe it has evolved. I constantly hear other feminists speaking of how feminism is for all, and I completely agree.
Question #5: Why does feminism have such a negative connotation/ a bad rap?
Subject A: Feminism has a negative connotation because most males view these women as man-haters. I know that isn’t the case, I am aware they are fighting for their equality but people still view it as just that.
Subject B: Social media has attempted to create feminism into some sort of joke by mixing up a feminist with a misandrist. Most people don’t know the definitions or even the difference between the two. I believe that is why feminism has developed such a negative connotation among today’s generation.
Question #6: In the future how else do you think feminism might change? Do you believe it will be seen as more acceptable to consider yourself a feminist?
Subject A: I’m not too sure, guess I’ll have to wait and see. But as far as considering yourself a feminist, I think it will become more acceptable as I’ve witnessed its growth of members throughout my life.
Subject B: I think that feminism will simply gain more popularity, proven by how it’s become more known just within this last year. Yes, I do believe calling yourself a feminist will be more acceptable as long as we continue to express the true meaning of it.
Published by Nancy Pierri