When I was doing my A Level’s, my friendship group used to argue a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. Our “heated debates” often ended in an argument much to the frustration of our teachers who were often disturbed by our racket. At least twice a week the common room would be divided by an argument about everything and anything, from politics to pizza bases to whether footballers should get paid as much as they do. We were a very opinionated group which is fun but also maddening when we talk about something controversial.
One topic that would come up a lot was feminism. A lot of the comments would backlash against the ideology of feminism. “Feminists just hate men.” “Men don’t make a huge deal about equality so why do girls?” “Women are treated the same as men nowadays so what’s the problem?” There seemed to be a lot of confusion as to what feminism actually is. I did some research and think it is essential that people understand the difference between a feminist and a misandrist – a man hater.
Oxford dictionary definitions
Feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
Misandrist – a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against men, the counterpart to a misogynist is a misandrist.
Equality of the sexes. There’s no point denying it, there are “feminists” out there who hate men. Real feminists don’t want to prove woman are better than men, they just want to be treated as equals. If you ever meet someone who claims to be a feminist but slates men and shows signs of hatred, they are not a feminist.
Over the years there has been incredible progress in terms of equality, women can vote, they can work alongside men and they are allowed to divorce. Despite these advances, women are still not treated as completely equal. Last month I read an article in The Guardian about the gender pay gap that still exists. Figures show a gap of over £5700 in average full time salaries between men and women. This is more than four decades after the Equal Pay Act of 1970 was introduced. This is the reason we need feminists. This is why women still need to campaign for equality.
It’s not really clear why this pay gap still exists considering that women are generally treated as equal to men in the UK. Companies with more than 250 employees are now required to publish their gender pay gap which hopefully will continue to eliminate the unfairness in pay rates.
I hope this helps clear up the confusion surrounding feminism and why women still need to campaign for equal rights. I’m sure my friends and I will continue to argue and debate as we always do but at least now there will be no more regarding this topic.