When we hear about feminism, it is easy for our thoughts to imagine the burning of bras, or ‘I am woman hear me roar!‘. However, let us not confuse the word feminism, with activism. More recently, I have found that throughout social media that there is this wave of women speaking up — being heard. Collectively. Men and women alike. have made reference to the future, being female. I prefer, fearlessly female.
The Waves of Feminism
Feminism in parts of the western world has gone through three waves.
First wave feminism focuses around middle or upper class, white women. And, involves suffrage (the right to vote) and political equality.
A woman was expected to follow one path. Marry in her early 20s, start a family quickly, and devote her life to homemaking. As one woman at the time put it, “The female doesn’t really expect a lot from life. She’s here as someone’s keeper — her husband’s or her children’s.”
Second wave feminism, attempted to further combat social and cultural inequalities. Although, during the first wave of feminism, the women that rebelled consisted of middle class white women. However the second wave included in some cases, women of colour and women from other developing nations that were seeking solidarity.
Third wave feminism is continuing to address the financial, social and cultural inequalities
In addition, this includes renewed campaigning for greater influence of women. You might agree we have seen some exceptional female movements occur even in the last few months. Specifically, from women who have come forward about Harvey Weinstein and the many allegations that continue to surface.
I resonate with this so much more than a future being female dominant. Because, these movements, these women’s movements were not about power. They, were about equality.
“What used to be the feminist agenda is now an everyday reality. The way women look at themselves, the way other people look at women, is completely different…than it was thirty years ago…Our daughters grow up with the same possibilities as our sons.” — Betty Friedan
Since we have helped paint the true picture of feminism, and equality — let’s consider the thought patterns relating to feminine elements. You see, my belief is that both men and women have what is referred to as feminine elements.
They exist in humanity.
Ebb and Flow.
Ying and Yang.
Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
Chaos and Order.
Now, when we consider this thought process on a macro level we want to go as far back as a few thousand years. There is a clear distinction between males and females. Specifically, when it relates to roles, behaviours, etc. This can be demonstrated through ‘men don’t cry’, or men should be more direct.
The power over model.
What we are seeing or experiencing more recently is more of a power to, verses a power over. Do you feel the shift? Have you been conscious of this happening — perhaps you see it now? In more recent years we are seeing much more of the feminine elements emerge. This can be seen in actions like storytelling, collaborations, and even democracy.
Many of these attributes are collectively female. Thus, my belief is our future may not be female, so to speak — but instead, fearlessly female.
My Final Thoughts and Personal Share
I am a mother of two boys and one girl. And, outside of how symbolic this is to me — what I am referencing in the future not being female, is that I believe I, and hopefully you, are equipping both your sons and daughters with whatever skills, knowledge and time to help them in creating their own bright futures. I believe my sons have as much chance as my daughter — and I am thankful my daughter is closing in on having the same chances as my sons.
Please understand this movement should not be about power. It is bigger than that. It is about equality. This relates to my daughter being fearlessly female as she strides into her coming years.
I believe our future is bright regardless of how we identify in the category of gender.