This is not intended to be a political post. Of course, feminism has its obvious political impact and I am, as a feminist, grateful for that. In that way, it can move us forward; women and all of humanity.
The word “feminism” may put you off right away. Feminism, as the foundation of social movements in America, has always been controversial, dating back to the Suffragettes. As a strong ideology that challenges the establishment and foundation our culture and laws, around the world, it has more often than not been divisive. At the same time though, feminism in practice brings like-minded men and women together.
In truth, feminist values do not exclude men. The working definition of a feminist is credited to Gloria Steinem during the second wave of the Women’s Movement in the late 1960’s. She stated simply that a feminist is “anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” In this way, feminism applies to all.
Feminism is being embraced with a fresh perspective in this new millennium. While it may seem to many older generations of feminists that younger generations are backing away from the term, there is also plenty of support that it is reemerging. Actor/Director and UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson is making huge strides to reintroduce feminism in a bold and more inclusive way. She is gaining momentum through social media and highly visible speaking engagements, as well as her HeForShe organization. HeForShe is a campaign in partnership with UN Women – an organization established to accelerate progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the globe.
Many other celebrities are getting on board with the term “feminist” and the values it represents. Issues such as wage equality, reproductive rights, ending violence against women and ensuring access to education for girls are coming into view.
Progress is progressing. We all need to press on. I’m grateful for the powerful voices of all women who are committed to supporting feminist ideals. After all, “women’s rights are human rights.”
With love and peace and hope,