We all believe to know what feminism is and what it is all about. The answer, quite frankly, is in the name right? Female and/or femininity and the adding of ‘ism’ makes it a movement or ideology. We are aware of the British suffragettes and we are aware of celebrities advocating the same beliefs today. However, politics often gets in the way of how we understand and process feminism that enriched with so much history and controversy. Sometimes, it takes the study of its fundamental philosophy and intent to depoliticize a truly valuable movement.
Feminism in its true and original form is about the pursuit of equality between the two sexes. We are hugely passionate about gender parity and why we were definite that our first ever range of watches, the Confluence Range was to be balanced between the two sexes with both male and female wrists in mind. The word Feminism itself has come under fire due to its strong focus on women as opposed to both men and women alike. It is why egalitarianism is a concept that is much preferred in today’s era. Egalitarianism is an umbrella term and feminism merely falls underneath this if practiced as it is intended but it allows room for men’s rights, both of which are valued equally by an egalitarian.
We have all heard that freedom is a human right, as are choices and access to all opportunities such as education, jobs and social congregations. Exclusion has long been demonized as it should; we believe in the collective while simultaneously believing in individual rights. It is a thin line but a very important one where we appreciate the value of difference as well as likeness. It is the belief that your personal choices direct your life, not your demographics.
1st wave feminism was a result of such opportunities being blocked, not necessarily by men, but by the weights of tradition. This train of thought has long aged and disputed and has little place today, the result of the work women and men put in 19th and early twentieth century.
So what does it mean to be a feminist today? In a society where equality is a destination, no longer a road block? In short, it is actions of inclusivity regardless of gender, whether male or female. It is the lessening of judgement and reliance on stereotypes and simply connecting with humans as individuals and regarding everyone as ‘us’, not ‘them’ unaffected by physical differences.
If you read in-between the lines, the philosophy transcends women’s and men’s rights but can also be applied on any social issues such as race, class divide and the free exchange of ideas i.e. liberalism vs conservatism.
Most of us do not have to go out of our way to be a feminist; it is intrinsic in our personal pursuit of justice. Sometimes we overstep boundaries or misspeak, offend without intension and if so; the other side is responsible in educating the other without judgement or anger. In time, we will all come to understand each other and find ways to celebrate differences and similarities alike.