Translated by Elisavet Kechagia
The nexus of feminism is essentially the belief in the socioeconomic and political equality between the sexes. It is a rather complex system of ideologies and theories that does not limit itself to sonorous pages filled with notional beliefs, rather includes taking organized action towards the advocacy of female rights and the elimination of female-degrading perceptions that have taken root in society. It is an ever growing movement that continues up to this day to claim and win over rights that were arbitrarily stripped by the patriarchal and obsolete mindset of the past.
The etymological origins of the term
The term feminism (feminisme) first made its appearance in 1870 France, even though it is believed to have emerged earlier. During said period, the word feminism was used to describe the freedom and emancipation of women. In 1882 Hubertine Auclert, French feminist leading the advocacy of female rights and most specifically the right to vote, was the first to use the term feminist (feministe) so as to describe herself and all those who fought for the freedom of women. A conference that took place in 1892 in France was characterized as feminist and gave the incentive for the dissemination of the term, with references to which beginning to appear in Great Britain and America only after 1894.
It just so happens that in modern societies men seem to constitute the dominant force behind all political, economical and cultural decisions. This is to be attributed to the fashion of their making that promotes the male sex as the sole capable of important decision-making. The focus of feminism is that on the basis of the female sex making up more than half of the population, actual social progress can never be achieved without utter and unconstrained participation on the part of women in decision making.
There exists the following hypothesis: If point A constitutes today’s everyday life with women being sidelined, experiencing sexism, insufficient representation and deprivation of social freedom in certain countries, and point B is total equality between the sexes in all aspects of society, then feminism focuses on actions and behaviors that will allow the progression from point A to point B.
Αccording to evidence provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the average annual earnings made by women in 2017 amounted to 14.910 dollars less than those made by men, regardless of the law that passed in 1963 on equal pay between men and women. Feminism aims towards fair opportunities for both men and women in various work fields, and fair distribution of roles and positions in public administration. Theoretically speaking, gender equality in the workplace is considered to be a given, while in reality this is certainly not the case. A blatant example of this being the unequal pay and unequal distribution of leading roles between men and women.
There also exists the false perception that feminists are sexist towards men. Feminists do not strive to oppress or degrade men, rather claim fair opportunities of participation in the works of society. And although up until now we did not hear of male feminists, nowadays the term is getting more and more traction bringing the promise of better and equal days even closer.
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