My Definition of Feminism

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I’ve decided that I have my own definition of feminism: the study of the issues facing women in this society. It can and often does involve activism, but I think you can be a feminist without being an activist. But whereas the traditional definition of feminism normally deals only with issues of gender inequalities, my definition broadens a feminist’s emphasis to include anything that has to do with the female experience.

A definition that stops at gender or sexual inequality reduces the conversation about women to that of victimhood. I’ve found when writing my posts, that I often feel compelled to point out how women are being victimized by society. But that’s a negative way of looking at womanhood. Women have a certain power of their own, which they can use to victimize others (children, males and other women). But they also have power that give them authority in their own right, which is why it is important to have proactive women in all segments of society.

Whether it’s because of nature or nurture, women have a unique sensibility that adds much to the social discourse when its allowed to do so. But women don’t have to wait for permission to speak and act. They have so much to offer, it’s a crime to hide their light under a bushel. And that, too, is part of my definition of feminism: the movement that strives for a society that acknowledges the feminine experience, in all its manifestations, as a force to be reckoned with.

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

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