Human Rights, Opinion, World, Editor's Choice

Word of the Year 2017: Feminism Explained

Feminism is the word of the year 2017. Wait, what? Why this year? ‘Feminism’ has been around for quite some time. Women were working very hard for centuries to change the way things are. The word of the year, feminism, is used to represent equality between the two sexes through women empowerment, and if there ever was a year to praise the word, it was 2017.

This world has always been dominated by men but the 21st century is all about women empowerment and equality. Today, for places like South Asia and third world countries, feminism plays a huge role in empowering women, enabling them to come forward and making them believe that they can achieve anything that they wish for. Women have been greatly oppressed in third world countries. In the past year, we got to see an incredible change in that.

Word of the Year: Why do we Need Feminism?

Why do we need feminism? In many societies, women are degraded, they are not even allowed to complete their basic education. In many societies, women are meant to stay in their houses. This is very common in eastern countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They are treated like objects and sometimes even their birth is frowned upon. Women all over the world are expected to wear clothes that cover their whole existence so that the men will not be triggered to rape them. Women are subjected to trafficking, rape, slavery and all kinds of violence. These crimes are done against men too, but the ratio of female victims is way higher than that of the males.

Women, over the years, have been working hard, setting examples and have been empowering other women to promote equality between the sexes. The struggle to change this taboo that we have engraved in our minds, that prohibits a woman to live as she pleases, dates back centuries and we have come a long way. But equilibrium is still not established between the two sexes.

Why Word of the Year 2017?

In many countries in the past, women did not have the right to vote which might sound absurd right now, but it was very much true, and a lot was done to set that right. Many other basic rights were also not given on the basis of gender. There are still many places all over the world where unfair treatment is done to an extreme extent. Feminism did bring women out of their typical household on their own will, but they faced other obstacles in their workplace. Women got paid less for the same job and the same amount of work as that of a man. The difference between the salary used to be huge, it has not completely vanished, but the difference has been brought closer to a huge extent.

The big change that took place in 2017 and made feminism the word of the year was that feminists all around the world, regardless of their gender, called out rape culture and victims spoke up, which lead to the downfall of many powerful people. In the past, victims of rape were the ones that were made to feel guilty for a crime that they did not commit. Empowerment of rape victims and the eradication of the taboo which prevented the victims to speak out and get justice for themselves was also the result of feminism. The power of speaking out is finally decreasing the cases of domestic violence, whereas in eastern third world countries, women still choose to not speak up and those who do, are looked down upon.

Feminism under Attack

We still need feminism but unfortunately, a substantial number of women are altering the basic concept of feminism and they are making it about male oppression rather than women empowerment. In 2017, many people turned against feminism mainly because it was defamed and many women calling themselves feminists were supporting men oppression and domestic violence against men. They were justifying it all by saying that men do this to women all the time, which is the reason as to why feminism became one of the most discussed topics and hence got to be the word of the year.

This, of course, does not give anyone the license to disturb any other individual just because they belong to the opposite sex. This rise in hate against men is what made feminism the word of the year 2017. There were so many reports about women murdering their husbands, cutting off their genitals, abusing and other atrocious activities in the name of feminism and other hypocrites justifying this act in the name of women empowerment. While certain people are supporting this in the name of feminism, there are still women out there working hard for the sake of real gender equality.

Feminism, not Male Oppression

Feminism is often confused with male oppression nowadays. It is still supported by men but lost many of its followers due to the collective hate some women have towards men. Feminism has helped women all over the world and not just women, but men too. 2017 brought the biggest change and men and women both spoke out about rape culture, abuse, and other heinous, gender-related crimes. There are always people trying to bring down a worthy cause and that backlash is, of course, a fraction of women who think that causing harm to other men is a payback for the harm that has been done to women over the years. Feminism has still a long way to go but for now, we must make feminism about women empowerment and not male oppression.

About Umna Salah

Umna Salah is a content writer and an undergraduate medical student. She has been writing SEO articles for more than a year now. With an immense love for fiction and other languages, she is usually found reading if not writing. She is a baker, artist and many other things. Hoping to keep it all together and going.

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