The words of the European deputy and the shock caused by the photos of Emma Watson last week made me want to go more in deep with the term of feminism and its fight, because not only the term but also women’s fights and achievements aren’t widely known for most of us. For example, feminism is not only limited to the sexual liberation.
In order to contextualize, feminism is the movement for the equality of gender. The Merryam Webster defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of sexes”. This movement was born in the early 1900’s when women started to fight for their right to vote and to participate in politics. Then this fight was expanded to the sexual and to the economical field.
Nowadays, there are commissions like the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and agreements that watch over women’s rights. The first was The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1979; then The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in 1993 and the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995. All of these were created by the United Nations.
I feel worried about how feminism can be misunderstood by many people taking its meaning only to the sexual field. In my opinion, walking naked on the streets won’t change abuser’s way of thinking about women and girls, because we go back to the materialization of women. Our value is on the impact that we generate in society through our work in science, politics, arts and household.
After the horrific words of Korwinof Janusz, the European deputy comes what prompted me to write this article: two female journalists asked him about the reasons of their hate speech against women– he replied them with this request: give me the name of three inventions of women– One of them remained quiet, and the one next to her replied: what about Marie Curie? However, this didn’t answer his question and triggered in more insults from him. Marie Curie, an amazing woman but not the only one. In addition, a reporter of Star Talk, a TV show in Nat Geo, asked to some pedestrians to name three female scientists. Guess their answers… All of them (men and women) only mentioned Marie Curie, and by that moment I would reply that as well.
It made me feel ashamed and angry, because if we don’t know our achievements how will an abuser do it? That’s how feminism and women’s value lose legitimacy. Into women’s struggles ( against sexual harassment, discrimination at work, etc) is one that has been object of study by Jayati Ghosh: the lack of acknowledge of contribution of women to economy through housework and farming. According to Ghosh, in India the work of women represents at least 80% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But this contribution is not counted in GDP, and of course not paid.
To achieve equality (because it’s not about war against men) it’s very important to meet the key points of our needs, contributions and strengths. Also, the importance of stay together as a gender, but most importantly as human beings, given that men and women are equals, but with different roles that allow the existence of this society.
To celebrate Women’s Day, you can read more about women’s achievements in science, politics and arts in the Top 5 of historic females in history by clicking here