In recent times and especially as a result of the celebration of Women’s Day on March 8, we receive messages from a part of society that tries to convince us that Feminism is not necessary. I had to listen and read messages that sound like “neither feminism nor machismo, equality“; “We’ve had enough of persecuting men“; “Lesbians are lesbians because they cannot stand men“; “For when a man’s day?“.
It saddens me and at the same time it annoys me that there are people who do not understand why the movement called Feminism arose or what it means, and who in turn launch messages of that kind to discredit a movement, which today continues being enormously necessary. Because Feminism is nothing more than “the search for equal rights and opportunities between men and women.” That is to say, it is not to pretend the supremacy of the woman in front of the man (to what would be denominated hembrismo, discussed neologism in Spanish used with different meanings, it can work like synonymous of misandry or contempt to the men) and not much least we can allow the spreading of what a lot of people like to descibe as feminazism (invented term whose sole purpose is to distort the Feminist movement). This term was invented by Rush Limbaugh, an antiabortion conservative of the American Republican Party who in his book The Way Things Ought to Be (1992) compared feminists who defended their right to decide with the Nazis, referring to the choice of being a mother or not as a “modern holocaust.” But the conservative ignored the fact that Hitler openly persecuted feminists and declared abortion a state crime, therefore, the word is already an incongruence itself.
Women and men should thank feminism for the important changes that have occurred in a large part of the world with respect to equality, such as access to education, sexual protection, the right to abortion, active and passive suffrage (remember that it was necessary to wait until 1948 for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to recognize women’s suffrage as a universal human right), among many others.
Therefore, we are talking about relatively recent changes, it is necessary to understand that it is difficult to end the patriarchal and androcentric vision that has always existed in most societies, but precisely for this reason, if we all became aware of the advantages it brings for men and women it would be very easy. Because it is obvious that men also lose out in this conception and distribution of roles that have been assigned in a traditional way, because to name just a few examples, men have not been allowed to show sensitivity, “men do not cry” they say, or have not been able to enjoy the upbringing of their children, role relegated for centuries to women, or have not been able to develop their concerns or tastes assigned a priori to women, such as dance, for fear of being branded as “rather masculine”, and thus, a long etcetera.
So with regard to what concerns us here, we should be aware that Feminism is necessary for the whole society, and much remains to be done.
People who do not understand why this movement is necessary or wants to discredit it with words like “feminazis” should ask themselves why a woman is not safe when she goes out alone at certain times, or why there have been more than 25 million European victims of sexist violence, why there is still inequality in salaries between men and women, why management positions in companies are still occupied mostly by men, why there is still a difference in the distribution of household tasks and care of children and relatives, why there are still feminized or masculinized professions, why women have to endure being complimented by a stranger.
There is still much to be done but we will only go the right way if men and women have the same opportunities and the same rights, without distinction, and only then, we’ll become advanced, free, fair and truly democratic societies.
Original Spanish version on Medium.