is a controversial word that has distinct meanings to different people.
However, it is now frequently mentioned on social media, in the newspapers, on
the radio and even in learning institutions. Gone are the days when freedom
belonged to a particular group of people. According to Campton in his text ‘The Characteristics of male
Gazer,’ several movements have risen to stand for the rights
of humanity (34). As well, many people have tried to delve into this issue to
gain insight on feminism and sexism. Some people think they are related whereas
others perceive them as two different things. Some people have thought that
feminism is all about the differences and similarities between men and women; however,
this is not the case (Roberts
& Raewyn 137).
Many people have a
negative attitude towards the word feminism and feminist. According to Feminism is for everybody, many people think that
feminism is a bunch of angry women who hate men (8). Moreover, they want to
change the rule of nature as well as the laws stated by God. Some even think
that feminists are lesbians or a bunch of women who want to take all the jobs
and make the life hard for men. In the undertaking of this paper, several
concepts will be used in shaping our thoughts and clarifying ideas related to
feminism and sexism. Through the modern cultural text, by basing the argument
on a feminist speech stated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie during a graduation at
Wellesley College’s Commencement ceremony (Adichie 27).
This text is relevant because it contains insights that are helpful for
us to understand the importance of sexism and feminism as supported by Bell
Hooks. Her speech is unique in that it is addressing the woman in a competitive
world in which she has to survive and find her niche. Therefore, this paper
will explain the importance of feminism to women and the world in a nutshell.
Feminism is described as
the model which states that women and men need to be equal economically,
politically and socially. A feminist is an individual, who believes women and
men both ought to have equal rights. There are different branches of feminism.
The first branch is cultural feminism. This theory reinforces the fact that
there are significant dispositional differences between men and women that
ought to be celebrated and made exclusive (Ramos 40). It is a theory that
acknowledges the biological differences between women and men in the sense that
women are perceived as being kind and gentle as compared to the men.
Consequently, this leads to a mindset that there would be no wars if women are
the ones who ruled the world. The second branch of feminism is referred to as
ecofeminism. This is a theory that believes in the philosophy that
male-controlled dogmas are dangerous to women, children and other living
things. Ecofeminism opposes the fact that a male-controlled viewpoint
emphasizes the need to control and rule disobedient females.
feminism is based on individualism and anarchocapitalist philosophies, with the
primary focus being liberty, rights, autonomy, diversity, and independence.
This theory emphasizes obstructions that both women and men face concerning
masculinity or femininity. Material feminism focuses on the need to take the
burden off women in regards to traditional female domestic jobs such as cooking
and housework. According to “What hostile and benevolent sexism
communicate about men’s and women’s warmth and competence”, amazon
feminism pays attention to physical fairness and gender role stereotypes as
well as discrimination against females (35). Discrimination is grounded on the
assumption that women ought to be physically helpless, weak and inactive.
Separatists’ feminism, with its members often depicted as lesbians, advocates partial
separation from men as the necessary first step for personal growth.
the understanding shared from the feminist theory, it is now possible to
expound on the main argument regarding the cultural text about a feminist
speech. In her speech, during the commencement ceremony at Wellesley College,
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie states, “That man was not inherently bad or evil.
They were merely privileged. And I knew that privilege blinds because it is the
nature of privilege to blind” (Adichie
In her statement, men had been raised up in a world that has given them an
upper hand and more opportunities for growth compared to women.
This statement creates a
challenge to women in the sense that it encourages them not to view themselves
as the weaker species. Rather, as having an opportunity to rise and work
towards having similar achievements like the male counterparts. The statement
by Adiche denotes that there is no equality for the women in the world (Hodes & Caroline 30). In our knowledge, we may
understand the statement from a woman’s perspective, as the audience views it.
But in the real sense, what we do not see is that this statement as an act of
advocacy for the women to take advantage of the opportunities given to them and
to make the best out of it. For instance, women ought to take seriously the
chance given to study and to thereby, pursue careers that will enable them to
compete favorably for job opportunities.
Women need to have passion and courage to succeed in the male-dominated
world as stated by (Elliot 38).
her speech, she continues to mention the following statements, “Write
television shows in which female strength is not depicted as remarkable but
merely normal. Teach your students to see that vulnerability is a human rather
than a female trait. Commission magazine articles that teach men how to keep a
woman happy, because there are already too many articles that tell women how to
keep a man happy. Feminism should be an inclusive party. Feminism should be a
party of different feminism. Women are praised for their love when love is an
act of giving. But to love is to give and to take” (Adichie 27).
her speech, she reinforces the importance of gender equality, which is related
to sexism. In a nutshell, sexism is also referred to as gender discrimination.
Gender discrimination denotes a situation where a person is mistreated because
of their sex. Adichie focuses her speech on the importance of women taking part
in doing projects that support each other. She condemns the fact that the world
expects women to actively take the role of nurturing, however, the care and
love may lack reciprocity. From her statement, it is clear that there exists a
problem in the society whereby women are treated indifferently. She raises
persuasive arguments about how women should get their ideas out there to be
heard similarly to men.
males and females they are not comfortable discussing issues pertaining gender.
They are both uncomfortable changing existing gender role stereotypes. For a
very long time, the world has been dividing human beings into two sets whereby
one group oppresses the other one. Adichie encourages people to accept this
fact and to acknowledge a problem exists and thereby find a solution. For
instance, we teach girls to be submissive and to make themselves smaller to
protect men’s ego, consequently, this makes women have limits in their
to The Shivering, Adichie condemns the fact that women have also
allowed themselves to be oppressed in silence without them raising the alarm
(29). She acts as a voice of change and wants the world to reshape their way of
thinking and how they treat women by giving them a similar platform as their
male counterparts. The audience might perceive her statement negatively by
thinking it favors only women, but the case is different. For instance, careers
in engineering are mainly male dominated. Her comments are based on the fact
that women have been oppressed and not given an equal chance to compete in the
various sectors as well as opportunities (Sturgeon 45).
encourages the young women to come out of their cocoons and make a difference
in the world by embracing opportunities offered in the job market and hence
make a great impact in the society (Adichie
She encourages the young graduates to be bold and to command respect by not
allowing society to define who they are, but to express themselves through the
abilities and skills that they have acquired in school (Carlos 35). She does not encourage them to sit around
and wait for the society to have mercy or have pity on them, but she motivates
them to get out of their comfort zone and make a difference, changing the way
society has portrayed the woman. She urges them to change the negative
perspective of the community about women (Sturgeon 25).
Hook in her title Feminism is for
everyone suggests that we need to be enlightened witnesses as we watch
representations of ourselves and others. This
statement is meant to give us an experience of what the feminist’s world is
like. She urges the world to consider the feminist’s ideologies by finding out
the issues that the feminist struggle with, the solutions they need and how to
support them. According to Hooks, most women desire to be like the men without
them giving a critical thought to feminism being about women having equal
rights. Feminism is a movement with the core purpose of ending sexism,
oppression as well as sexual exploitation. According to Bell Hooks, the main problem associated with feminism is sexism,
which denotes stereotypes and discrimination against women based on their sex
(8). Our society has socialized us to embrace sexism and to it regard as a
as much as some people think that feminism applies to only women, Bell Hooks
tries to argue that feminism is not just an issue for women rather for both
genders. In her book, feminism is for
everyone; Bell addresses critical questions pertaining the modern feminist
and the rights of every woman. She counters the negativism by the chauvinistic
system that has been used to oppress black women and the entire fraternity of
female movement. She continues to raise her grievances on the issues she wants
the system to address so that the women might be given an equal opportunity
irrespective of their race, tribe or background affiliation.
to Hooks Bell, if women do not have a
right to make decisions on their reproductive health then they are likely to
relinquish their rights in others areas of their lives. Women who allege
feminist ideas they are pro-choice to procuring an abortion which is contrary
to the anti-choice movement that prohibits abortion (29). However, feminist
movement does not advocate for legal and safe abortions, but they push for
preventative health care. The contraceptives should be made easily accessible
so as to reduce occurrences of unsafe pregnancies (Hooks 29).
Hook suggests that equal treatment of the women will only become a reality if
both the men and women share the same ideologies and come to terms with the
issues that affect women. She also suggests that in as much as there is a
difference between the two genders, there should be some form of enlightenment
and equality with no discrimination involved. In her book, Hook explains that
from the earliest inception of feminism, the movement has diverged (Ramos 23).
The activist thinkers decided to pay emphasis on gender equality as opposed to
addressing the main issue that affects women in the society. She argues that
radical thinkers did not want to modify the prevailing system that subjugates
the rights of women (Roberts & Raewyn 20).
suggests that feminism aims at transforming the current system and bringing an
end to sexism and patriarchy. Based on the fact that male-controlled mass media
did not have interest in the revolutionary vision, the feminist’s aim could not
be achieved (Carson & Claire 16). The feminist’s primary objectives were
changes in the economy, politics, jobs, gender equality and the workforce.
According to “Imagining Intersectional Futures: Feminist Approaches In
CSCW.”, the relationship between Bell Hook’s
argument and Adichie’s speech is quite evident in the sense that they both
support the rights of women (34). They both want to show to the world that
women have their right to freedom of speech and association. Both support the
enlightenment of women, and they add a voice to the various feminists’ movement
across the world (Hodes 181).
implication of the two examples used that is Bell Hook’s book and Adichie’s speech, it is explanatory that some
women still feel that their rights are still infringed. Women have an aim of
ending the male-dominated culture that is against feminism. They point out
significant insights into the society with the intentions of enlightening the
society on the importance of gender equality. Rather, than oppression of a
particular gender through an existing patriarchal system. As a result of such
efforts, feminism theories have been incorporated in the learning institutions
as a core subject. The feminist movement children books that were promoting
sexism ideals. This is a tremendous improvement considering that in its
introduction it was greatly opposed.
am a feminist I believe both women and women should enjoy equal rights as well
equal chances to opportunities. This will hence create equality and promote
healthy relationships whereby women will not be tied down to traditional roles.
Feminism will help fathers to spend more time nurturing their children and
hence producing emotionally stable individuals. Men and women having equal
rights do not mean they are the same, rather they ought to embrace their
differences and work within their capacity to make the best out of all