What is Feminism?

Essay by freefaderUniversity, Bachelor's December 2003

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I began to read this assignment having never really even considered feminism. Like many people, I had this preconceived notion that all feminist were all those stereotypical ideas, such as lesbians and man haters, that their opposing forces would like the public to believe. As I read I started to realize that anyone can be a feminist.

Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards say, "feminism means that women have the right to enough information to make informed choices about their lives." They add this to the dictionary meaning of feminism, which is: the movement of social, political, and economic equality of men and women. Their choice of words in defining this complex term opens up the gates of feminism welcoming many people, such as men, who have felt excluded in the past.

Women come in many different shapes, sizes , and colors. With each different woman comes a whole new set of ideas and needs.

Feminist can be described in much the same way as I just described women. Each individual who states themselves as being a feminist has many differing ideas and needs from the next feminist individual. Take a black woman who is working as a maid in an upper class home. Her needs differ from those of a white middle class woman filling the role of a stay at home mom.

In this day and time, I find it next to impossible to be an American woman and not to some extent be a feminist. If a woman has the drive and desire to achieve any goal or overcome in predicament on her own, there is no one holding her back except herself. "Feminism wants you to be whoever you are--but with a political consciousness," according to Baumgardner and Richards. If women do not take part in the...