So, what is feminism? Put simply; Feminism is about all genders having equal rights and opportunities. It is about respecting the experiences, cultures, knowledge, and skills of diverse women and striving to empower all women to recognize their full rights.
By the average population, the concept is beyond calling women humorless bitches or debating whether feminists shave their legs or armpits. Absolutely beyond the misogynistic approach and how!
A feminist strives for equality for all. Rather intersectional feminism includes everyone regardless of their gender, race, socioeconomic status, ability, or sexual orientation.
Feminism offers a lens sans gender biases and makes it possible for people to look at the world not as it is but as it may be.
Women were restricted to the domestic sphere for much of Western history, while public life was reserved for males. The right to own land, research, or engage in public life was denied to women in medieval Europe. They were still forced to cover their heads in public at the end of the 19th century in France, and in parts of Germany, a husband still had the right to sell his wife. Particularly as late as the early 20th century, women in Europe and much of the United States (where many territories and states granted women’s suffrage long before the federal government did so could not vote or hold elective office.
Without a male representative, whether it was a father, brother, husband, legal agent, or even son, women were prevented from doing business. Without the authorization of their husbands, married women could not exert power over their children.
Where does it come from?
It’s impossible to imagine now, but there was also a time when the Roman laid outlaws in which expensive goods were limited for women. And, we quote consul Marcus Porcius Cato “As soon as they begin to be your equals, they will have become your superiors.” Such were the methods adopted to control and suppress women.
But only scattered voices spoke out against women’s inferior status for much of recorded history, presaging the claims to come. The feminist movement started with the first feminist philosopher, Christine de Pisan, who questioned traditional attitudes against women in the late 14th and early 15th century France with a strong demand for female education. Women had to fight for a fundamental right like education while men got it served on the platter.
Later in the century, her mantle was taken up by Laura Cereta, a Venetian woman of the 15th century who wrote Epistolae familiares (1488; “Personal Letters”; Eng. trans. Collected Letters of a Renaissance Feminist), a volume of letters dealing with an array of grievances about women, from denial of education and marital injustice to the frivolity of the dress of women.
By the end of the 16th century, the safety of women had turned into a literary subgenre when Il Merito Delle Donne (1600; The Worth of Women), a feminist tirade by another Venetian poet, Moderata Fonte, was posthumously published. Defenders of the status quo reacted foolishly by painting women as shallow and ultimately unethical. Simultaneously, the budding feminists created long lists of brave and accomplished women and declared that if they were given equal access to education, women would be the intellectual equals of men.
The self-styled “debate about women” did not enter England until the late 16th century, when shallow and unethical women and debaters joined the battle over womanhood’s true nature. In England, the first feminist pamphleteer, Jane anger, responded with Jane Anger, Her Protection for Women (1589), after a series of satiric pieces mocking women was published. The torrent of opinions continued for more than a century until a more reasoned rejoinder in A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (1694, 1697) was given by another English poet, Mary Astell. The two-volume work suggested that women create secular convents where they could live, study, and teach, not inclined to marriage or a religious vocation.
There has been a fight from the start for basics.
There’s more to what is feminism and where does it come from.
Stay tuned for more.