An Intro into the 4th Wave of Feminism
Before You Read
I’d like to start off by informing today's reader that the writer is I, Moses Taylor, am a philosophy student in training who has educational experience in Women's Studies and Gender Philosophy. I do identify as a feminist. I acknowlege fact that I am a cis male speaking on behalf of women's opression. It is my personal belief that the advocacy from the male community is necessary in accomplishing the overall goal feminism reaches for.
I'd like to define “feminism”. It means a lot of different things depending on the person. But I'm here to plainly clear that up. The Feminism Ideal follows three principles
1.) There is oppression towards women simply because they are women
2.) This oppression is current, relevant, and wrong in nature
3.) The eradication of this oppression should be acted upon
This definition is as unbiased as it gets. Really any other definition shouldn't be taken into account here. A side note, there are different Waves of feminism, each with a particularly specific end goal in mind. The fourth wave of feminism refers to the future this movement is likely to hold.
What is a Woman?
For a long time I have hesitated to write anything about women. The subject is irritating, especially to women; and is not new. Enough ink has been spilled over the quarreling over feminism, now particularly underwhelming and maybe we could say, understood? If feminism is understood I suppose we should say no more about it. The voluminous work regarding feminism seems to have done little to illuminate the problem. After all, is there a problem? Non-feminists believe there is no such problem. Non-feminists make up most of today's American society. How is it the majority of society can not identify as a feminist, a very unradical belief that seems painfully obviously to be true. The oppression of women has no solid reason or thesis behind it, it’s simply unjust.
It is society's belief that Feminism (regardless of definition of Feminism) refers to women. But can we define what a woman really is? What is a woman? Are there women, really? Most assuredly the theory of the eternal feminie still has its adherents who whisper in your ear: “Even in russia women still are women' '; and other erudite persons--sometimes the very same-- say with a sigh: “Woman is losing her way, women is lost.” If women are being subject as a whole, surely we should be able to identify a woman . One wonders if women still exist, if they always exist, whether or not it is desirable that they should, what place they occupy in this world, and what their place should be.
A woman has been in several ways defined by the biological parts associated with women, and those parts differentiate women from men. I’ve heard men define women as humans who have breasts. They must have forgotten that men do in fact have breasts just a woman has. A rebuttal: “A woman has hormones, that is the simple reason behind her emotional nature.” These men again must have forgotten that men do in fact have hormones, just as much as any woman has. As a last resort, that taboo one word response of “Vagina”. They think they must have gotten me here. Is it true that women have vaginas? That every vagina is then founded upon a women's body?
But it can't be that easy. I’m quite familiar with the ever rising trans community; those who could be born biologically male but do not identify as male, or a born female and choose to live life as male, etc. There are many scenarios to consider here. When we speak this plainly of genitalia, speaking as if it terms what a woman is, can we really be positive that a woman has a vagina? Men have looked at a woman-presenting body, and have assumed both the gender and the gender identity of that individual as female. But with the boundary of clothes and the question on whether or not they identify as a woman, how can a man (or any one) be sure any one woman-presenting body is in fact a woman. We can guess, but then genitalia really wouldn't be the answer to why women are oppressed. Then it must be in the presenting of a certian sex that determines one of being ‘fit for opression’.
To deny that a woman-presenting body, with a penis (a pre-op trans woman in some cases) is not a woman, would suggest beliefs along the side of transphobia. Surly these trans women receive a majority if not all of women's oppression. Examples of sharble oppression both trans women and other women can face would be: “Oh she's too emotional,” “oh she belongs in the kitchen,” she’s weak in nature”. As we know that women face oppression because they are women presenting would suggest this to be again correct.
The lines drawn between men and women are appearing ever so thin. Is there really any natural difference between men and women worth oppressing over. Any differences between the genders seem naturally insignificant. Differences we assumed are natural possibly (im saying possibly but I really mean quite certainly) include preferences of barbies over trucks, poetry over math or something superficial as that… we really can see the pattern here. “Parenting and household cleaning is a womens job and the mens job is to provide financially.”We have heard this and we have heard more before. This isn't new information. I wonder however if men really are stronger in nature i.e muscle mass, wouldn't it make sense that the physically stronger with more stamina take care of the chores and children, the most draining of tasks, why the assumably ‘fragile’ woman takes care of financially supporting the family.
Oppression based on gender presentation appears absurd. If men are superior in society, they control society. If in control, men must have a reason they would want to oppress women-presenting bodies. Thinking back to the beginning of time, (that would be the cave men area for atheitsists like myself) we can see the natural sex-differnce of muscle mass. I assume it's only natural that the humans known as male back then would be incharge of hunting and such. I believe the male cavemen believed themselves to be superior and then assume the role of leader. Hence the consistent notion that leading has been taught solely as a logical position, unfazed by emotion. This belief is being continuingly proven wrong and may even be considered as outdated. And believe this is why men refute and suppress emotion. Even though men know the suppression of emotion is mentally and physically harmful to themselves, they deny this part of themselves to prove themselves as natural leaders of the superior standing. If men acknowledge publicly that they in fact feel just as much emotion as women, would take away the ‘one up’ they have created for themselves. Men have purposefully turned emotion into a negative, and then repress this negative to present themselves as superior, and for the sake of every man’s ego, they team up in the mostly mural understanding that will extinguish all other mens emotional sides. ‘Mainly hood’, as some call it, is just homophobia. Everything men stand against, the views they force down other men, ensures men are a distinct ‘species’ from women.
The realization that men are women are both human beings that share no significant differences is one of an unknown amount of solutions we have. Men benefit from the forced propaganda that the genders are all different and will perform differently. But we know this is just stereotyping here, and stereotyping is plain discrimination. It is a method in which we try to understand a specific group of people. A way we can quickly make sense of things, but there's a lot of irony there. Attempts at understanding people, by means of stereotyping, is hindering us from actually understanding who they really are. Stereotyping has proven to be offensive. We could talk about racial or cultural stereotyping, but you should already have gotten the point. Men and Women are not significantly different in nature, it's just societies nurturing points out eyes to spot every society that made differences men and women ‘have’.
Female oppression in the homeless community
How many times have you seen a homeless man on the side of the road? Can you think about all the times you have seen a woman standing there instead. There's a reason we see more men on the side of the roads. It’s because they are safer. Homeless women are at massive risk of being abducted or sexually assaulted while on the streets. Abducted by sex trafficers or just creepy individulas who offer them money from ther cars. In the world of homelessness, homeless women are also valuable from sexual assault and abduction from other homeless men. The type of environment homeless people live in is a world that is dominated by physical strength. Men make up seventy-percent of the homeless community, and there's a reason why. These women aren't as capable as reporting sexual assault. Men make The other world of criminal justice and law, strongly prefers those who can pay a lot of funds. Police regularly ignore homeless individuals who report crimes of sexual assault and theft. This leaves homeless women valuable from both such crimes, as well as many more. Homeless men have the advantage of being safely capable of awning on the stress as for funds or resting comfortably with the same worries homeless women face as well as other avantages.
Written by, Moses Taylor
From The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvior, translated by H.M Parshley. Copyright 1952 and renewed 1980 by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Used by permission of Alfred A, Knopf, Inc., a division of Random House, Inc.