Monday, October 02, 2006

5 Things Feminism Has Taught Me

Some have suggested that the topic of Feminism is old news and not relevant today. I would disagree. Not only has it shaped our society in beneficial ways, there is still work to be done, so to me, it is very much alive.

We all have read horrendous stories concerning the abuse of women around the world, but all too often we think that we in the West have overcome all obstacles concerning women. The fact that we continue to require shelters for battered women, that we are underrepresented in government and other high profile positions, the fact that the trafficking of women still occurs, tells us that we still need to make strides and these are only a few examples.

That said, there can be no doubt that the Feminist Movement has benefitted society as a whole.

This is how it has impacted me personally:

1. It provided me with a role model, my mother, who never backed down from what she thought was right, regardless of conventional wisdom.

2. It created an environment where I was free to define myself and understand the importance of self respect and worth.

3. It made it possible for me to speak out and have the law support me when an employer felt it was justified to sexually harrass women.

4. It was/is an example of how important it is to stand up for and promote a just cause, until it is realised. That example has inspired me to speak up for and/or take action on behalf of those who have been unjustly persecuted.

5. It has allowed all people to moderate or redefine their role in society. Traditional roles are no longer the only avenue open to individuals and that has enhanced our society, by making it more balanced and accepting of all people.

Feminism has helped make what should have been obvious to all, (but sadly wasn't), a reality. That is that every person has value and equality for all is the only way forward for humanity.


Jacques Beau Vert said...

To be honest, I'm not big on SoW. I don't "hate" it, I just don't think it's that relevant, as government agencies go.

that we are underrepresented in government

This is I think is really important in and to Canada - I wish there was something that SoW could do to help women into politics, somehow. Don't know what sort of action/plan you'd need, but it's something that would make me think SoW was important and making real progress for society.

Karen said...

I would agree that it would be real progress, jbg. I'm not entirely sure what the answer is either, but I can tell you, I'd love to see a Martha Hall Findlay take on such an initiave.

Oxford County Liberals said...

The proper acronymn for the agency would be "SWC" Jason. SOW is the derogatory term given it by our far-right Conservative friends who think any dollar given to a cause they hate is a waste of money.

Knb: thanks for your list.. I've listed it with the other links of peole who have posted their 5 things list at the Prog Blog site here.

Karen said...

Thank you Scott for including me on your list.

I don't think Jason meant any mallice, correct me if I'm wrong though Jason.

You're right Scott, I think too many have just seen the incorrect acronym and carry it on.

catnip said...

Great post, knb. If only I wasn't so damn wordy. ;)

Penelope Persons said...


I'd forgotten about sexual harrassment at work - maybe since I haven't worked in a long time!! And don't get sexually harrassed too often any more!! Yes, things were improved once my company got itself a policy on it - that everyone understood. That said, lots of women I worked with (but not me) enjoyed dirty jokes with the guys... So people need to use judgement, regardless of policies.

BTW I read a killer post on the subject over at Where'd that bug go" - the best I've seen yet!!

And I made a killer comment there too!! LOL!! (Where do these brainwaves come from, anyway, and howcome I can't pull them out of thin air at will??)

A_Resident said...

That WAS a great post KNB, very personal and thought provoking. I have to admit, feminism is just something I never gave much thought to, someone on a blog said "taken for granted."

It made me think that we owe some brave women an abudance of gratitude for where we are today.

Glad to see you back posting too...

A_Resident said...

I left you a photo at my blog today. :)

mezba said...

While Feminism has not impacted the Arab world greatly (where I grew up) it's growing now - in Iran of all places as the young guards gradually replace the old. In UAE, Oman and Bahrain its great to see local women join the workforce in huge numbers. They are influenced highly by both the women in the west who were breakin barriers and their own past (up until the 19th century) when the women were free to do as they pleased.

Karen said...

mezba, because of the history of their freedom in the past, it is my wish that the collective memory will prevail in the Arab world.

Belief based on bias and irrational thought, is a difficult thing to fight. It sadly takes more time than should be necessary, but each step along that road is powerful.

It will happen and I hope I am here to see it. I also hope, that in my own small way, I can encourage it.