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A social movement is a grouping of individuals or organizations that works to carry out, resist, or undo a social change. Some notable examples from the present day include the LGBT movement, which seeks to promote societal acceptance of LGBT peoples; and the environmental movement, which seeks to increase societal awareness of environmental issues.In the movie Suffragette, the general attitude that society held towards women was depicted as very negative and dismissive. For example, Sonny treated Maud like she was his property when she was first got home from jail, telling her to stop participating in suffragette demonstrations. Additionally, when the suffragettes were walking down the street on multiple occasions, they were verbally harassed by men. Perhaps the most powerful quote of the film is when Sonny drops Maud off on the street and prevents her from seeing George, because “the law says he can.” All of these examples help establish context for the feminist movement at the time, which sought to make women legally equal to men. Not only were women treated unequally in the law with regards to issues such as child custody, but they were generally viewed as inferior by society as well.The second wave of feminism existed roughly from the 1960s to the 1980s, and focused on reducing inequality in areas such as family, employment, and sexuality. It also drew attention to issues such as domestic violence and marital abuse.The third wave emerged in the early 1990s and continued into the early 2010s. This wave of feminism focused on issues such as individualism and diversity.Establishing context is incredibly important when analyzing social movements. For example, in the film Suffragette, the way that women were portrayed bordered on appalling by today’s standards. Similarly, the advances made by the Suffragette movement seemed quite underwhelming by today’s standards, where women are legally and socially equal to men. However, we must consider that the world was not nearly as developed as it is today back then; the average lifespan was three decades lower than it is now, the world was being constantly ravaged by war and conquest, and women were considered inferior all across the world. Considering this, the actions of the Suffragettes seem heroic and brave. Similarly, if we view modern feminism through the lens of the early 20th century, the idea of topless women wearing ‘pussy hats’ screaming about ‘rape culture’ and ‘microaggressions’ is beyond ridiculous. (I’m exaggerating a bit to make a point. Not all feminists are like this, but the point still stands)It is equally important that we view today’s social movements through the appropriate lens. In the Western world, we are currently privileged enough to have the economic foundation on which social movements can be sustained. We do not have to worry about food, water, or safety, so we can continue to advance more progressive social change. Each era has its own context and corresponding social movements. It is very important to establish context when evaluating social movements, because context can have a huge influence on our perception of social movements.Modern feminism is not feminism. According to a 2017 YouGov poll, only 23 percent of American women consider themselves feminists, but 82 percent believe in ‘the social, political, and economic equals of the sexes.’ The latter is the dictionary definition of the word ‘feminism.’ Many so-called ‘feminists’ would claim that this gap is due to systemic stigmatization of the feminist movement which is a part of the war on women.I think that it is because feminism has become more the public face of hysterical left-wing intolerance than a true women’s’ movement. Combine that with the downright bizarre and ridiculous demands that some radical feminists put forward, and it is not surprising that many people view modern feminism as embarrassing. Of course there are extremists on all sides of the social and political spectrums; just as there are radical feminists on the left side of the spectrum, there are rampant racists and misogynists on the right. Truthfully, I would be just as glad to write a criticism of racism as I would be to write one about feminism. Extremism in any form is generally not good; it breaks down dialogue, creates division, and involves the silencing of majorities by vocal minorities. Feminism is a great example of this. There are millions of people who want equality of the sexes (and really, everybody should). However, their beliefs are overshadowed by the ridiculousness of radical feminists. On the flip side of the spectrum, the same is true. A great example of this is immigration. There are millions of people who would like to have secure borders and a merit-based immigration system. Their views however are overshadowed by genuine racists who want less immigration, not because they believe in merit or fairness, but rather because they don’t like foreigners. In both of these examples, radical or extreme minorities within each group negatively reflect the image of the entire group, and as a result, stifle meaningful and constructive discussion on their respective issues.I have seen extreme feminists on social media – individuals who declare that looking at a woman the wrong way constitutes sexual assault and who often literally respond to opinions that they don’t like with screams. Surely this level of extremism could not exist in the real world. Then I started coming across news articles such as this glowing profile of a lesbian couple raising a ‘genderless’ child. Most (I hope) would believe that this kind of behavior is ridiculous. This apparently does not include the folks at NPR who wrote about this couple and their ‘boychicks.’ I do not think that it is impossible to craft a more nauseating and paradoxical paragraph than the one this ‘queer-identified male-partnered monogamist’ uses to describe her ‘son’:”She describes her boychick, born in March 2007, as a “male-assigned at birth — and so far apparently comfortable with that assignment, white, currently able-bodied, congenitally hypothyroid, cosleeper, former breastfed toddler, elimination communication graduate, sling baby and early walker, trial and terror, cliched light of our life, and impetus for the blog. Odds are good he will be the most privileged of persons: a middle class, able bodied, cisgender, straight, white male.”What is truly appalling to me is not the realization that there are crazy people in the world – crazy people have always existed – but rather that the most vocal modern feminists actually strive to normalize this hysteria into the realm of relevant cultural commentary.In the eyes of many, feminism has mutated from a women’s movement striving for equality into a radical movement that seems to be all about achieving misguided short-term wants, mostly through name-calling and other forms of bullying, at the expense of any basic integrity or long-term intellectual coherence. This of course, does not reflect all feminists; I’m sure that the vast majority are not like this. But as mentioned earlier, the extreme vocal minority reflects the most on this movement in a negative way. In the long run, how many women would want to be identified with a moralless postmodernist movement such as this? A movement whose champions demand ‘safe-spaces’ to protect themselves from the real world? How many women want to be identified with a movement that displays a repugnant level of hyper-sensitivity and emotional fragility? A movement that argues that Mark Zuckerberg’s preference for plain T-shirts is sexist. Treating women fairly in our politics and our culture is simple fairness. Contrastingly, modern feminism is not about fairness but rather entitled pleading and irrationality.Modern feminism does not have a philosophy. It is barely even an ideology. It has become a series of temper tantrums thrown by a small privileged minority. Unless something is changed, it will soon become irrelevant, bringing down with it the countless reasonable women and men who genuinely believe in equality of the sexes.Furthermore, modern feminism is plagued by double standards and hypocrisy. Outspoken feminists are utterly silent when it comes to men being victims of gender inequality. Men comprise 92 percent of workplace fatalities, 94 percent of workplace suicides, 77 percent of homicide victims, and bear 82 percent of childhood custody losses. Let’s take another look at the definition of feminism: ‘the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.’ If modern feminism truly valued gender equality, we would hear about these statistics as much as a we hear about that supposed ‘wage gap.’ However, that is not the case. There are certainly many self-proclaimed feminists who truly believe in the real definition of feminism. Unfortunately, a few radical feminists have transformed the movement into a postmodernist cult that is less concerned with true gender equality than it is with sowing discontent. If individual feminists want their voices to be heard, they must either leave the modern feminist movement, or the modern feminist movement must change so that people will actually take them seriously. Ensuring that men and women have equal rights should be an intrinsic moral imperative for all people of all cultures. That is, it is incredibly important that we have honest discussions about the very real problems facing men and women alike. The outrage that some ‘feminists’ would direct at somebody who expresses these views would probably be much greater than their outrage against countries such as India, where 57 percent of teenage boys think that wife-beating is justified. Or perhaps against the fact that, in certain cases, the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man in the legal systems of Iran and Yemen… and Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the UAE. Surely they must care that, in Morocco, rape victims are viewed as partially responsible and can be charged with crimes. Well, to be fair, the oppressors in these cases are not cisgender, straight, white men, so it would be racist to criticize them. Moving on… So is feminism a dead and lost cause? Absolutely not! There are still plenty of ways which it can be saved and true equality can be fought for. The first of these is to rid ourselves of the feminist mindset that women are inherently less capable than men. This victim mentality does nothing. The free market only cares about one color: green (that’s the color of money). If women want to see gender equality, they should throw away those worthless gender studies degrees and get a degree in Engineering or Nursing. It is at this point that men must become involved by treating women fairly and as equals, judging them by their merits rather than their gender. Secondly, there must be constructive dialogue between people about ensuring gender equality; alienating the very people ‘feminists’ claim to be oppressed by is counterproductive. Women can start by abandoning some of the ridiculous facets of feminism so that they can be taken seriously. Men can start by being more open-minded and aware of the genuine issues surrounding gender equality, and working within reason to tackle those issues. Finally, we must accept the fact that there are real differences between men and women. Men are, by nature, physically stronger, more aggressive, and externally oriented. Women on the other hand tend to embody the ideal of inner dignity. Some people confuse this subtlety with weakness; it is, in truth, just as strong as physical force. The nature of women, while subtle, is not weak. The nature of men on the other hand, while aggressive, is not beastly. The answer to gender inequality is not that men and women try to be the same, nor is it that we abandon the concept of gender altogether. Rather, both men and women should embrace their different gender roles and use them to complement each other in the mutual quest to improve life. Individuals of both genders should strive to be themselves, and realize that they each have a set of unique strengths and abilities with which they can pursue their goals. This is true feminism.

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