The feminist position presents an Us-Them opposition between men and women – does this opposition necessarily lead to misandry, which cuts off dialogue between the two groups?

Them opposition between men and women

Question one

Before the rise and growth of feminism, the patriarchal system dominated many societies. The men did have more authority and privileges economically, socially and politically. The patriarchal system created inequality which has feminism has since addressed since its rice. Defining the position, rights, freedom and actions of women by relating them to the male gender depicts them as being different from the men thus the notion of them being “an other”.  Conservative feminism which advocates for equality between men and women basically does way with the notion of the males being superior to the females and further depicts that women are another force in every societal context and the only difference between them and their male counterparts is exhibited biologically. Various avenues and tools can be put into use to ensure that women become another rather than an other.

Political approaches can be a tool for feminists. Socialism is an ideology that advocates for factors of production being owned by the community. This implies that women being part of the community have absolute rights and liberties just as any other members of the community. Women can be advocates of democracy as authoritarian systems such as fascism are tools for oppressing them and depicting them to be of lesser value than their male counterparts. Civil rights movements and societies play a great role in advocating for the rights of women such as those of property ownership, rights in marriage, sexual and reproductive rights as well as labor rights for equal pay and progress regardless of gender if the task accomplished is the same. Taking part in significant political activities such as voting, contesting for and winning political seats is an instrument for women to demonstrate they are not an other but another.

Equality issues can be addressed by using social tools. Religion and spiritualism plays a great role in the society and through theology, it can be established that no being is inferior by using the religious books to illustrate this aspect. Language has been observed to be a tool of enhancing male dominance and as such feminists and others who are proponents of equality have advocated for the use of gender-neutral language. Jurisprudence which deals with interpretation of laws by the courts is essential for creating equality as advocated for by the feminists. Through giving verdicts that exhibit the aspect of women being equal to men on issues such as reproductive health and matrimonial property rights, the inequality issues are addressed and women are able to universally enjoy the rights as the men do.

Culture can be a tool for advancing gender equality. The society has for long defined women by the roles they held and a change of this scope is key to ensuring the aspirations of feminists are realized. Music greatly defines culture and even though women have been involved over generations in the music sector, they have not had the defining positions such as the writers and producers. Women’s music which entails music by women for women encourages their participation from the highest level to the lowest thus reducing the aspect of them just being entertainers. Cinemas foster feminism by giving significant roles such as production, starring and script writing to the women to eliminate the notion that they cannot accomplish the tasks perceived to be massive by the society.

Question Three

Feminism basically depicts men as the source and perpetrators of the injustices and inequalities that women go through. It is for this reason that feminists especially the radical ones posit that in order to overcome the inequalities they must first deal with the source which is the men. This creates an antagonism that it is women against men in order for gender inequality to be realized. The aggression and zeal mainly observed among radical feminists may likely end up to be misandry which basically is hatred for men. In any conflict resolution process, effective communication is key to finding a way out. Similarly, progress and change require proper communication to ensure the transition reasonably mitigates the potential negative effects. Radical feminists believe the current political and social organization is just an extension of a patriarchal system which they are opposed to. In order to address this factor, they resort to fostering cultural change through various mechanisms.  According to them, communication or legal processes are not enough in addressing the inequalities and often resort to dismantling patriarchy. Using tools such as lesbianism as a political tool rather than sexual orientation and celibacy to express their idea of leading successful satisfactory lives without male involvement. The extreme anti male ideologies of radical feminists inhibit effective communication between men and women as the other party is not involved finding the solutions.

Conservative feminism views men as the oppressors but resort to legal and other non-extreme measures of confronting their oppressors. Advocating for grievances does not necessarily constitute to war owing to the channels used by conservative feminists. Even though they share same sentiments with the radical feminists that the current political and social institutions are exhibit patriarchal tendencies, they are keen to involve the oppressors and put into action legal means to address the oppressions. This form of feminism is less skeptical to the men even though it depicts them as the enemies to equality. However, it appreciates the power of effective communication and collaboration in conflict resolution. Conservative feminists are of the idea that the solution of the problem lies with the problem itself and as such, the gender equality issues do not have to be addressed by the women alone but men must also be parties to finding the solution as they are inherently the cause of the inequality.

Closing Argument

Feminism address gender inequality but radical feminism addresses gender inequalities best. The society even though tending to recognize that both women and men are equal and deserve to be equal on various matters, the transition towards ensuring this is realized has been slow. Unlike conservative feminism which seeks to use the already patriarchal legal and political systems to address the gender inequality issues, radical feminism seeks change of order in the society by focusing on cultural change that undermines patriarchy.

Practically legal changes are effected by courts and legislative assemblies. These institutions currently have more men compared to women in most jurisdictions. Radical feminists acknowledge this fact to be the reason for the slow realization of gender equality and proves to be positively skeptical because of the low chances of the source of oppression being embracive to change. The ideology by conservative feminists to use the legal and political systems to address the inequalities based on gender though fruitful takes a lot of time because of the male dominance in both those systems. The delay does more injustice to the existing injustices of inequality and it is for this reason that radical feminists which is for swift reordering of the society a better option compared to conservative feminism.

Patricahal systems which characterizes most political and societal organizations gives men high considerations in decision making even n matters concerning the women. The rights and freedoms that women should have access to are provided by legal documents which are men have a role in their existence. The legal instruments have to be drafted and consented to be in order to be valid in various jurisdtions. The conservative feminists use these instruments to advocate for equality and expand the range of rights and freedoms for the women. The irony is that men who they consider their oppressors play a role in either drafting or establishing the validity of such instruments. Radical feminism entails the women making their own decisions in reordering the society without their male counterparts playing a role in those decisions and actions. When a radical feminist becomes a lesbian or celibate, they do so with their decisions not being subject to any male approval. Such decisions are made by radical feminists to diminish the political and legal impositions of heterosexuality.

Radical feminism views men and the system as being the source of oppression and handles them at individual levels. Unlike conservative feminism which seeks to address the inequalities by integrating the various sources of oppression together, radical feminism handles the individual systems and men to account. Other than being ideological movements, they event resort to direct action such as protests. The 1968 protest against Miss America beauty pageant which they depicted women as being viewed in terms of sexuality involved the protestors removing their bras and throwing them into a “Freedom Trash Can”.

Change is essential for reordering of the society and ensuring gender equality. When the change is too slow, the atrocities against women it conveys adds more injustices to the ones they have already experienced and those that they continue to experience. Radical feminism demands a swift change in the organization of the society and subsequently a swift gender equality. It advocates for justice to be realized within a reasonable time and not be delayed by the oppressor hence providing the best ideology towards gender equality.

References

Mackay, Finn. Radical feminism: Feminist activism in movement. Springer, 2015.