In a discussion with my housemates, the other day the subject of why feminism is still called feminism came up and I wasn’t really sure what to think or say. I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently and I’ve worked out how to feel about it. In my opinion, feminism should absolutely still be called feminism because the inequalities in the patriarchal society are the root of the issue and that is what feminism is fighting against.
The feminist movement began in a time where women had no right to vote, it was legal to rape a woman if you were married among many other awful laws and that is why it was originally called feminism. Society may have progressed massively since then but there are still areas of inequality so feminism has always been necessary. It has been made clear that both men and women are negatively affected by the patriarchy and as feminism means gender equality there is no real need to change the name, is there? Changing the name of the same movement won’t change much apart from that some people will be more willing to initially listen to what you have to say. But as soon as you reveal the same opinions as, say, an equalist rather than a feminist, they will probably switch off and disagree.
The word feminism is a big no-no for most people as it’s seen to be exclusive or it holds the idea that it’s about bettering women with a negative impact on men. To me, it means that women have the same rights as men, not just in law but in society and everywhere else as well as I’m not entirely sure there are many laws that negatively impact women anymore. That means 50/50 split in all workplaces, equal opportunities for men and women, no judgements on men doing hair and beauty or women doing bricklaying. This is why we still need feminism and we need to get over the word feminism because the implications of the word is a pointless debate. The official definition of feminism is gender equality and that is how it should be seen. By arguing about the name of a movement, the actual goal of the movement gets shoved to the side.