By Glyndora Condon MS MFT LPC
Defined as: A complex set of ideologies and theories, feminism, at its core is seeking to achieve equal social, political, and economic rights for women. Feminism refers to a diverse variety of beliefs, ideas, movements, and agendas for action. It refers to any actions, especially organized, that promote changes to society to end patterns that disadvantage for women. Feminist thought considers how culture can and should be different between genders—should different genders have different goals, ideals, and visions? Yet should embrace sameness if women wishes the same goals due to same interests and skills. Its vision is to move society from a commitment to action.
Feminism seeks to embrace a women's sexuality and celebrate it, as opposed to so many societies that condemn it, often creating a double standard between genders. Women are shunned for having multiple sexual partners, whereas men are celebrated for the same activity.
Further, women have long been subject to sexual objectification by men. Many uphold a notion that women must dress so as to not arouse men, and many societies expect women to fully cover their bodies. Other societies choose to exploit female sexuality in mass media, using scantily clad women used in advertising and full nudity in movies and television, yet many women are shamed for breastfeeding in public, offering conflicting views of female sexuality. Women have sought to be less objectified and more valued.
Unequal salaries are still pervasive in the workforce. Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963, on average, a woman earns only 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns. A women's median annual earnings are $10,086 less than that of men's, according to data from the US Census Bureau. ( by: Jone Johnson Lewis, Updated October 15, 2018).
As we consider the past century in order to analyze the progress of this movement we find growth in some areas. Women can vote, are working in positions that only men used to work in; have credit scores, own property, are higher educated, and feel more free to complain when workplace sexual harassment occurs in some but not all forums. Women can wear pants, overalls, hats, go without makeup, and not shave their legs or arm pits if they choose not to. Women do not have to get pregnant if they choose not to since birth control pills, and other variety of items are available that will keep pregnancy from occurring 99%. Thus they can choose to have multiple partners and sex at will without worrying of pregnancy. If they are certain that they never wish to have a baby then they can opt to have surgery to remove the uterus.
If women wish to smoke or drink then they can smoke and drink! They drive! They can own their own businesses! These are progressive for females as to their freedom-yet add concern regarding their health since as they enter into multi-partner sexual relationships-then they are exposed to STD's, and as they partake of substances then they are at high risk for these addictions and the relational concerns that go with addictions.
Sexuality has also lost the true meaning and respect, as the right of passage, from adolescents to adulthood was defined by a drinking age, or through losing one's virginity. Modesty has been painted as something old school and is considered as keeping females from freedom. The marrying age therefore has risen as men and women enjoy sex freely without commitment. At first glance then they feel that this is a wonderful achievement, yet as we see the increase of mental and emotional issues; suicides, gender crisis, relational conflicts, increased objectification of women and children with more porn, sex trafficking, and devaluing of women as "freedom" is expressed-then it becomes apparent that perhaps women were further harmed.
In addition, when women and children were raped-it was difficult enough for them to bring the perpetrator to justice. The victim had to fear being further victimized with accusations of false claims in the male driven world; yet now-as women find themselves more exploited; and are willing to falsely accuse men of rape-then their lack of integrity and lack of innocence is driving disbelief of the real cases of rape and incest. Women have a more difficult time today in exacting justice when raped than before. If they were promiscuous, then this too is challenging. Some believe that this justifies the abuse that these women received. Thus, the overgeneralization that all men are rapist and evil is a factor in dysfunctional and manipulative attempts to harm them-which leads to less respect for woman.
When only Adam and Eve were on the earth, and when their eyes were opened, they then saw their nakedness and for some reason knew that they needed to be covered. When man and woman allow themselves to be naked or exposed then they go against a moral code that began then-and applies today. Without this moral code to safeguard one's precious physical boundary, their body-then emotional boundaries will also be violated; which do harm relationships and one's self image. As more and more violation occurs, then people become desensitized to boundaries, to emotional harm, to the need for commitment, to morality; and consequences then occur. Without respect for each other, then abuse will abound.
The political forum has used the women's movement to drive their own agenda-attempting to control the population of "unwanted or undesired" people of faith, gender, color, and/or disability. Women were deceived to believe that pregnancy can be terminated for any reason as their right (which infringes on another's life and right to live) and told that people were not allowing them their right of choice to end that life. At first this deception was provided lies that the life was not a life, and terms were rendered to dehumanize the life. As it was proven that these are babies who are in uterus then the focus was on the right to select a healthy baby, a gender, and the appropriate time for parenthood after the baby was conceived. This agenda then used women to drive a cause of supremacy, socialism, and Marxism while targeting the baby.
In the working world; women continue to be paid approximately 25% less per the same position/job even though the female may be as qualified or more qualified than the males in the work place. This is still an issue that needs to be addressed.
In some areas, the movement has helped women to progress. However, others use good movements to gain power over evil, greedy agendas. When these efforts are believed as something to help them-then harm occurs to women and to other innocent people. In the office; many come in with the "I am not good enough" self image even after they allowed themselves to taste of equal freedom. They complain for shame and guilt. They are often self harming. With questioning then it is discovered that a movement that was intended to help- was also harmful. As freedom was acted upon, women find themselves less valued and less respected since freedom is not free. Freedom has a cost. I do not believe that the movement was in itself harmful. It brought much good for women. It was the abuse and misuse of the movement that caused much harm to we women. It is a shame that good intentions and good programs can be adulterated and abused which then makes it harmful. We women must discern and tweak "freedom" and know the costs.
Our choices will render consequences. We must be true to ourselves and not be deceived by political agendas. We must safeguard our bodies and embrace our sexuality without allowing others to manipulate or abuse our sexuality; but this does mean that we must use wisdom and caution. We should not allow others to use us for their gain of pleasure at our cost. If we choose to be promiscuous then we choose to be exposed and laid vulnerable to whatever others choose to believe: right or wrong. If we say no-then let our no-mean no. If violated then we go to the hospital trauma unit and provide evidence-then take out charges immediately while our memories are clear. If we say yes, then we mean yes-regardless of the cost or consequence that follows. We cannot use sex to trap a person or use a person then complain when that person does not choose to cooperate. We do not use aggression and lies; we use integrity, truth, and intelligence to balance our world. We use assertiveness and legal forums to forward our cause as women and we command respect by being respectful. We only have the right to govern our life but we do not have the right to destroy any other life. If we violate our own self-then we will be violated by others.