School House Rock Business Series #2
Feminism is … The belief in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. It is equality and nothing else.
The origins of feminism date back to 1848, campaigning for a range of issues; from guardianship of infants, property rights, divorce, access to higher education and the medical professions, to equal pay and protective legislation for women workers.
Simply translated, feminism is the belief that women should have a right to work, vote, hold political office, and be given equal pay for equal work.
However, somehow along the way, our support and understanding of Feminism became tainted and confused with Sexism.
Sexism is … prejudice or discrimination based on sex; discrimination against both men and women. It is behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on gender. Sexist language encourages discrimination and offends people when they find themselves excluded.
Remember, sexist language is discriminatory, and does not promote an inclusive environment.
As a society we have grown and evolved along with our vocabulary. Below are a few examples of complicit terminology, some of which are simply outdated while others are new.
Exclusive Term Inclusive Term
Mankind → Humanity; Humankind
Manpower → Workforce
Male Nurse → Nurse
Dude; Oh Man → Wow
Manspread → Personal Space
Bromannce → Friendship
Mansplaining → Patronizing; Condescending
It is important to recognize although the term “Feminism” may have originated in the United States, feminist movements are NOT bound by geography. Even today, in some parts of the world, women still do not have access to basic human rights. This is why it is imperative to re-energize a healthy mindset and relationship with Feminism.
Together we can create inclusive spaces, by simply learning the differences between feminism and sexism. Speak up today — make a difference.
The Variegate Group specializes in establishing the right mood & forum for difficult discussions that bolster healthy dialog and understanding. To learn more about us go to www.variegategroup.com.