Feminism and Women’s Empowerment are two similar terms that are discussed a lot nowadays. Both terms were created with the good intentions and goals of Gender Equality, but unfortunately, they have either become a bad thing or a wrong term. Why am I saying this? First, let’s understand what both terms mean and how they started.
So, what is Feminism? Well, Feminism, put in the simplest form, is the ideology that says that all women should be allowed the same opportunities, rights, and power as men. Simply put Gender Equality. They should be treated equally and not suffer from discrimination or disadvantages based on their gender. So we could say that every woman is a Feminist, no woman wants to be discriminated.
Feminism: But what if Gender Equality is Already Achieved?
But wait, aren´t women already treated the same as men? Women can work, vote, and basically do anything men have the right to do. Compared to the past decades and even centuries, women have gained a lot more freedom. Until the 1920s, a woman couldn’t drive a car or even practice sports like swimming, golf, and tennis without being criticized and judged by society. Obviously, all women thought and believed there was nothing wrong with doing those things; they thought they should have the same rights as men. That´s when Feminism started. When women decided they have to work towards Gender Equality to get what they deserve.
Since the first stages of Feminism, the term Women’s Empowerment became very popular. To understand this term better, we need to fully comprehend what the word empowerment means. Empowerment is to provide or give power to someone, no matter if it’s in a social, political or family aspect. So we can understand that Women’s Empowerment is giving women power over, and therefore free decisions in all those different aspects.
But people have been debating over whether the term is right or wrong. Why should it be called Women’s Empowerment? Who took the power from women? Men, society, women ourselves? How are we supposed to “get it back”? It´s not a certificate or contract that we can get and that’s it. Unfortunately, for many centuries, women were suppressed by men and did nothing about it. But with work and effort, they have actually empowered themselves and achieved incredibly advancements in Gender Equality. The problem now is, that it has become more of a publicity technique than an actual goal. A picture of a model with the words Women’s Empowerment’ plastered on the side of a building or a makeup brand promoting the term for publicity won´t make women get respect or opportunities.
If a woman wants to be a politician or businesswoman, she can surely become one, but she has to work for it, study and find her way to success. There is no law that forbids a woman to become what they want, that is an advantage we have today. Maybe it will take her longer or it may be harder for her than it will be for a man, but it won´t be impossible. If you really want something you need to work for it. And change does take time, but it happens eventually. That’s what Feminism, Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality, in general, should be about.
Gender Equality: Areas of Improvement
There are female presidents and prime ministers all around the world. I don’t think women can’t get the job they want it and if they work for it. Brazil, Chile, Germany, and Argentina are some of them. Gender Equality is certainly not present everywhere, like the much-debated gender pay gap. In America, on average a woman earns 77 cents for every man’s dollar.
That for example is something that we need to change because there is no explanation for it. Payment should be based on our work and the results we get. Another problem we are facing is that many women – because of lack of knowledge – try to represent and fight for Feminism in ways that won’t change anything. For example, in these past few months, a new campaign surfaced called “Free The Nipples” and they think women are being discriminated because they have to cover themselves.
Celebrities and normal women have been supporting this cause, taking bare-chested pictures of themselves and posting them on different social networks. How does that help us get credibility and respect? The only thing that comes out of campaigns like that is that women lose their dignity and no longer know what the meaning of Feminism, Women Empowerment, and Gender Equality is. Women have to learn and understand what Feminism means in order to achieve our goal.
That is the main problem with Feminism? It’s a misunderstood term. Being called a Feminist nowadays is seen as a bad thing, like we hate men and that we think and want to prove that we are better than them, but that is untrue. If you believe in real Gender Equality, then you are a feminist. It is neither complicated nor bad and people shouldn’t think it is.
Since the beginning of time, men have always been considered the authoritarian or powerful gender. And a few decades ago, women have realized and worked to prove that that is not true. Women have made efforts to be just like men and have their same rights and freedom, and little by little, they have succeeded. But, there is one thing that both men and women forget to remember: we are not the same. It is true, we aren’t. If we were, there would only exist one gender.
There lies the key to everything, we need to realize that we are different, but that that is no reason to be treated differently. As simple as that. Women shouldn’t try to be like men and men shouldn’t expect women to be like them to prove they are as capable. There is a reason why we are different, we complement each other. Whether we want to admit it or not, women need men as much as men need women. The biggest proof of that is that without each other, we can’t reproduce. And we shouldn’t see this as a bad thing, we should use it as a way to prove that there doesn’t have to be any difference.
The simple fact that you are alive and that you are a person is enough to be treated the same as all the other humans, whether with the same physique or not.