Feminism is a broad topic that needs analysis. One must not just dwell on the books for it to be studied. We also need to hear the assumptions of people to see it in a larger scope.
For this paper, I interviewed six people and have them answered some questions regarding feminism. I have discovered several things with regards to the topic as I relate it to real life events. Some people say they are feminists without knowing exactly what feminism is. They just say they are because their peers do believe in feminism. Their peer group and not the wide knowledge about it basically affect their belief in feminism. They also say they are so because they want women to be empowered in all matters. Feminists in my interview believe in the skills of women as individuals and aim to uplift their position in the society. They say that experiences made them that way. The society as a whole makes them feel like they are not needed and that without them, the world will still be good. They want people to see them as part of the society, functioning and has roles to perform. They say that in order for people to know that they are fighting for this ideology, they talk to people and explain them what they believe in and make it to a point that they change the negative things that they think about women. One of them even tried writing in a national newspaper and prayed that her article on feminism be read in the whole nation. However, one just believes he is a feminist but does not voice it out that much, because he believes that even if everybody hears him, nobody would care still. He said that it is the irony of telling people what you really feel.
There are also those who categorized themselves as non-feminists. They also experienced disadvantages of being a man or a woman, but they accept it as a natural phenomenon and not a gender issue. Whatever it is that they experience would really happen even if you are the opposite sex. What you must try doing is to overcome that and improve the flaws that people see in you. The non-feminists, as what they call themselves, are contented with the position of women in the community today. They say that whatever it is that the women experience today is the fruit of their actions in the past. Therefore, they must not find any means to get up in the stratification, since they made everything this way. Some even say they care no more about women and men in the society, so long as it does not affect their everyday life. They say that change must come within every individual, be that she is a woman or he is a man. Gender must not matter, they say. They have also met some feminists and they respect their choice of being such. They suppose that they are such because of the influence of the media and the pop culture.
I found out that those with lower educational attainment know very little about feminism. Some have not heard of it yet. What’s interesting about this is that one of them has a relationship with same sex, which is female. They say that women got everything, so we must not find a man at all. With that, she believes she is a feminist. Contrast to the previous statement, a family-man in the interviewees say that he finds men and women really not equal. He even mentioned that biologically, men are really stronger that women, so the debate about who is stronger must end now. Women, as he said, must accept the fact that they can do more things than them and just admit that without them and their power, they won’t be complete. I have noticed that those in relationships with their opposite sexes easily admitted their weaknesses and the men’s strength. It is probably because they have proven it while they are in those relationships.
Some inconsistencies include the race of the interviewees vis-à-vis their views about feminism. The age also affected their views in the issue.
According to some lectures that we have done in class, feminism is related to the aim of validating women’s proclivities and be aware of the “procreative oppression” of women in the society. In a sociology book written by Broom et. al, they mentioned that from birth girls are really expected to ask for help from other people in order for them to do something. They also quoted Crawford who said that even in school, given that a female student gets a wrong answer, the teacher just gives her the right answer and proceed with the lecture. As with boys, they are given an ample amount of time to find the best solution on their own and wait until he gets the correct answer. This just shows that even at the young age, girls are already seeing the treatment of the society to both males and females. The issue just gets serious when they grow up and realize that they are underestimated in the community. I also found out that the economic responsibilities usually associated with men affects women. They believe that they also have the ability to provide for a family. But instead of giving them the chance to work and explore the workplace, they are just told to stay in the house and take care of the children. It may be reinforced by history which used to say that men’s work is more important and challenging than women’s. What they also cry for is that they are still misjudged by people even if they follow what their husbands say and what the society dictates them to do. They clean the house, wash the clothes, take care of the children and yet they don’t get appreciated and not even given attention to. This treatment to women in the world alarms many people. Therefore, more and more men and women are aiming for the end of inequality and prejudice.
Bonjean, C.M., D. Broom, and L. Broom.1990. Sociology: A Core Text With Adapted Readings. California: Wadsworth Publishing Company.