The word “feminist” has become a catchall term that includes a range of issues from feminism’s relationship with race and class, to sexual and gender politics, to the rights of women to reproductive choice.
Yet in many ways, it has also become an umbrella term for many different things: political beliefs, cultural values, ideas, and more.
What defines a feminist?
What is the best way to approach feminism?
And how do we know what is actually feminism?
This article explores the history of the term, its meaning today, and how to use it effectively.
First, a primer: What is a feminist, really?
To define a feminist as someone who is committed to social justice, gender equality, or environmental justice, we need to start with the word “femme,” which means “girl.”
As the Oxford English Dictionary defines it, a femme is “a woman who is neither a woman nor a man.”
Feminists, however, are not just women.
As the Dictionary’s entry on the word suggests, the word’s meaning is rooted in a patriarchal belief that women were created in the image of a man.
As such, “feminism” has been used to define many different aspects of feminist thought, from feminism in general to feminism as a set of social and political principles.
In the 21st century, a broad range of social movements, including feminism, are rooted in an identity of the “gender binary,” the idea that a person’s gender is fixed, not a spectrum of traits or identities.
The term “femsgender” is often used interchangeably with the term “feminism” to refer to these movements, which have become increasingly more inclusive in their thinking and practice.
But “feminists” aren’t the only people who have come to terms with the concept of “fesgender,” a term that has been applied to a wide range of diverse people.
In some ways, the term is more closely related to “gender” than “femininity,” according to Christina Hoff Sommers, a professor of sociology at New York University and author of the popular book, “Feminism: A Feminist Primer.”
“Fesgender has a very specific, narrow definition, which is one of gender, and I think that’s important to acknowledge,” Sommer said.
“It’s a term for a kind of male-oriented gender politics and it’s very hard for a woman to say ‘I’m not a feminist.'”
What does it mean to be feminist?
In a word: equality.
While the word itself doesn’t have a clear definition, it is usually used to describe the notion that women should be able to pursue their own goals and interests without being judged or punished by men.
For feminists, equality is a way of life.
A movement for equality means that people are treated equally and with respect.
It also means that gender is not a binary, but a spectrum.
A feminist is committed “to equality in the pursuit of our goals and in the exercise of our freedoms,” according the definition of the Oxford Dictionary.
As a result, feminists see themselves as the advocates for all women.
This idea of equality, equality, is what motivates many of the most significant social movements for women’s rights and social justice in the past two centuries.
For example, when it comes to women’s suffrage in the United States in 1917, many feminists wanted to abolish the institution, arguing that women had not earned the right to vote.
In 1968, the Women’s Liberation Movement led by the radical Susan B. Anthony organized a nationwide demonstration against the Vietnam War, which was fought to support the country’s economy and the war effort.
The group also began to call for a more equal society, with the slogan, “All men are oppressors, and all women are oppressed.”
This “one-size-fits-all” approach to women and the movement for women in the U.S. was a defining element of the Women of the World movement of the 1960s.
What are some of the other issues feminists have fought for?
Feminist activism has often targeted issues of racial justice, social inequality, and health and safety.
But the term also has come to mean a range in-depth issues, including gender, race, class, disability, and other issues.
In recent years, many of these issues have become a focus of social justice campaigns.
In 2012, a group of activists from several groups launched the “FemFem Movement,” a campaign to end male supremacy, including violence against women, and to address the “toxic masculinity” that is often associated with white supremacy.
The movement gained attention in 2013 after activists from the Women Against Police Brutality (WAPB) movement staged a sit-in at a New York City police station.
After the protest, WAPB and other groups created the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to highlight the intersection of race, gender, disability and other inequalities