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Radical Feminism: Has it gone too far?

I write this after long contemplation over whether it will tarnish everything todo with this page or not, and have now for some reason brought it upon myself to speak about it.

The term 'feminism' can mean a multitude of different things to different people; for example: for one it might mean the movement of achieving female equality and empowerment in today's society; for a Womanist, feminism might mean the achievement of female equality and empowerment in society, but at the same time only tending to benefit middle-class white women and not People Of Colour; and for others feminism could be seen as an exaggerated extremity due to the radical acts that we see across the globe, 'men haters' as one woman I asked said when asked to describe the general group.

It's an issue that raises a challenging question; in this day and age (the most developed one we have seen), why are we seeing and reacting to a rightly spoken about and required movement in such a negative light? Is it due to the archaic domestic way of life that the older generation cannot seem to shake, or is it due to the actions and the ways in which feminist proceedings are being conducted?

The dominant stereotype today is that feminists tend to be easily offended, make harassment claims, and hate men. This is where the problem lies; to many it does not seem as if today's feminists want equality between men and women, but would like the female gender to be empowered to the point in which they reign above and become superior, they make men experience the oppression that their mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and beyond had always experienced. This can prove to be problematic and shows itself as a counterpoint towards today's feminist movement; the whole notion around equality is squandered by the way in which some present themselves doing anything to beat men down and bring women up. The divide between equity feminism and gender feminism is present. An equity feminist wants the same for everyone, men and women, and will empower women up to that level, whereas a gender feminist believes that women are trapped in a patriarchal hegemony in which women are enslaved at the feet of a solely male culture. You find that the feminists you tend to hear about across the media tend to be 'gender feminists'.

The grounds of gender feminism can be rebuked. Never have women rightfully had a higher amount of freedom, opportunities, and equality than they have today: in the eyes of education, global enrolment rates between boys and girls are near equal; guarantees of gender equality were enshrined in law within new democracies and constitutions in places such as South America and Asia in the early 90s, with female figureheads representing many of them (this should be seen as hugely significant due to the domestic expectations forced upon many women there prior to the feminist movement). During 2011 in the USA, women made up for just over half the workforce, drastically different to the classic 'American Housewife' rhetoric, and 72.4% of women at a working age in the UK are working as of this year, this 1.4 million more women working than at the time of the 2008 downfall.

Evidently, there is still work to do, but I have only listed a small comparatively minor set of improvements, of which theres an extensive scroll to read from; however, due to there being more to do then yes, the need of pushing hard for equality is still required, but I think it is fair to say that women are no longer being oppressed and withheld from their freedoms, liberties, and rights in the way that they were a hundred years ago when the feminist movement first began; but we still see an element of this feminist movement becoming increasingly enraged, fuelled by a flame of hate towards men and corporations.

It is evident that at the top of the food chain, huge corporations run themselves and occasionally partner to make sure that the resources we need are available, whilst they make money at the same time. Within these corporations some women are not paid equally, experience harassment, racially and gender profiled and given less promotions and opportunity. It is said that in America, on average women are higher educated than men by achieving more bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctorate degrees, but still earn less, being paid only 80% of what some men are paid. Many women are also confronted with the vile experience of harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace; in January 2018, a survey showed that 81% of participants reported some for of sexual harassment, including verbal or physical assault. When it comes to racial profiling, the pay a woman may receive may be due to her race or ethnicity; researchers in the US found that Asian/Pacific islander women have the highest average earnings; white women following, proceeded by Native American and Hispanic women receiving the lowest pay.

And now, this is where corporations come into play; even though women on average are higher educated than men in the workplace, women are given far less opportunities to excel and work though the ranks. Women make up less than 5% of CEOs on the S&P 500, and only 11% of them are top earners; this then interlinks with the racial profiling of women as women of colour have a minuscule representation on both the S&P 500 boards and the Fortune 500 board. People attempt to credit this towards the lack of female role models in the workplace, and by not having a visible role model in place, the prospect of moving into a senior leadership role can seem merely unrealistic, purely because of her gender.

However, these corporations are evolving with the times and, unbeknownst to many of you, are rapidly addressing the gender inequality within their structures. Corporations are having to respond (albeit due to shareholder pressure) to make a change within the workplace and increase the ratio of women at senior levels, as well as enrolling large schemes company-wide to have women speak out and feel represented at work, making sure that their opportunities are increased and their voices are heard. Extensive changes are being made and these have to be recognised and role models appreciated; the rate of change may be woefully insufficient for some, however these corporations are very much heading in the right direction.

Is there a case that gender feminists refuse to acknowledge this significant progression as it undermines their political motivation? This could indeed be it, due to the exaggerated injustices that they say are prominent and ongoing, justifying their radical and (in my opinion) unnecessary acts.

Young men and women are being exposed to gender and radical feminists due to the media excessively covering their radical acts; this wrongly influences the most vulnerable generation and teaches them that Western society is overwhelmingly unfair towards women due to the messages being sent at these reported demonstrations; yes, gender inequality is still very much present and a global issue that need to be fully dissolved, but the youngest are given the impression that nothing is being done which is entirely false and counterintuitive when it comes to pushing for a developing society; there should not be a gender war forming in this day and age.

The media are to be held accountable for this as well; outlets play huge roles in influencing people at a first glance, and can have an imminent influence on minds and thoughts. They portray feminism as a completely radical movement due to homing in on the rallies, strikes, and significant stages conducted by radical feminists that will do two things: bring the issue to light, but more importantly, due to the radical nature, will sell lots of copies, spark huge engagement for the outlet, and make them a significant amount of money. Media outlets target radical feminist acts for these exact reasons, they're partly doing their job by showing what is happening, and also making money; however, they're doing a broad injustice by labelling these events as 'feminism' and not 'radical feminism' or 'gender feminism'. Not every feminist is on a relentless warpath in determination to tear anyone against their view down and obtain a righteous superiority, quite the opposite actually.

The bare definition of feminism is the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. This pulls in a significant percentage of the global population into one field. That is feminism. How you develop that definition and the way in which you go around it is completely your choice. In no way am I saying that feminism has gone too far, but gender feminism and radical feminism have failed to see the changes and are only exacerbating the situation that they relentlessly hope to end. By blatantly ignoring the continuous efforts of those held accountable, or labelling them as 'grossly insufficient' we find ourselves stuck in a vicious cycle.

Fighting to make a change is completely valid, but if changes are being made, pushed for, and voiced by the many being criticised for not doing so beforehand, surely there should be a limit to the radical nature and accusative mannerism towards those making the changes; there needs to be a limit for if there isn't we will find ourselves in a worse place, with worse accusations stemming from either gender upon each other, really creating an underlying gender war.

This day and age has evolved on such a magnificent scale that instead of looking at the persistent negatives hurled at our way, we should also look at the positives surrounding us. Yes, we have a long way to go to reach harmony and the universal goal, but we have also come so far in improving situations for women in one hundred years. We all need to be appreciative of this, because if we hadn't come this far then life could well be remarkably different for any woman today. Instead of persistently making repeated disproportionate responses whilst those being held accountable are implementing change, validate that change and embrace it.

Change is most definitely occurring, and all that can be achieved will be achieved.

Positively Unhelpful

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