According to most dictionary definitions, Feminism is the view that women are inherently equal to men and deserve equal rights and opportunities. However, it does not mean that women are identical to men. The simplest way to understand this definition of feminism is to realize its implied purpose of examining in what ways and why women do not have equal rights and opportunities as men.
Some people see feminism as an idea that divides the sexes and promotes female over male interests. Many people shy away from the term, saying they prefer to be referred to as “humanists” because no one is excluded with that term and it presents all people as equal. However, feminism is not necessarily a divider; instead, it is a subset of humanism that explores the female experience in particular. When it comes to basic rights such as equal pay, voting, the hiring process for jobs, feminism explores the reasons why women have been unable to attain equality with men even though there is no reason why this inequality should exist. While feminists fight for equality in human rights, it is done from the perspective that there is a unique female experience pertaining to these rights.
Feminism may directly explore the ways that women are not identical to men in its effort to assist women in gaining equal rights to men. For instance, the fact that women can have children and men cannot is a likely factor in the equal pay problem in which women earn less per dollar than do men. The traditional family is seen as a man who is the breadwinner and a mother who cares for this children. In reality, families are much more complicated than that, but it is this traditional view that is in part responsible for the reason why women do not receive equal pay to men. Feminism exists to demonstrate that despite these differences, women still deserve equal pay to men, or other rights that men enjoy and women do not. Feminism is not trying to do the impossible, such as promote equality by making men and women technically identical, such as making sure both can give birth to children, have the same gender-related body parts, etc. Equality does not mean being identical; no matter the gender, people have a variety of talents, weaknesses, and other qualities that make them unique. However, each person, regardless of gender, deserves to enjoy basic human rights and equality. That is the point of feminism.
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