Are you afraid of the F word?  Some people are afraid to use the term “feminist” and even assign different definitions to feminism and the women’s movement, even though they are basically the same thing.  Some say that feminism means “man hating”, among other things, even though that was never the case.   Some people, even women, fail to identify with feminism or the women’s movement because they believe it is no longer necessary and that equality has been achieved already (Swirsky, & Angelone, 2014).

The women’s movement began as early as the mid-1800s (National Women’s History Project, n.d.).  In the mid-1960s the women’s movement greatly influenced the socioeconomics, politics, and psychology of women in the United States (Agronick, & Duncan, 1998).  Views about the roles of women changed dramatically, and many women felt empowered to accomplish more with their lives (Agronick, & Duncan, 1998). Prior to the movement, many women only expected to work until they got married and had children (Agroncik, & Duncan, 1998).

One post can’t cover all of the impacts of the women’s movement, but some of them include greater incomes for families, women taking leadership roles, new perspectives in the workplace, improved self-esteem for women, women having a voice in policy, the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to have custody over children after a divorce, opportunities for education, participation in church affairs, and the ability to hold traditionally male jobs (National Women’s History Project, n.d.).

Without the women’s movement, many things that I have accomplished in my life would not have been possible.  In college I was the 5th female in the Texas A&M University Fighting Texas Aggie Band and the 1st female drummer.  I’m a successful, single mom who is fiercely independent.

Although women have become leaders in many workplaces, males still dominate business leadership and in many cases, get still paid more than women.  The women’s movement is still working to see equal pay for women.  Where I work, I get paid less than the other managers, except one other male manager who is in a traditionally female role.

We’ve come a long way, but there’s still more work to be done!

Two questions:

  1. How has the women’s movement effected your life?
  2. Are you afraid of the “F” word?

References

Agronick, G. S., & Duncan, L. E. (1998). Personality and social change: Individual differences, life path, and importance attributed to the women’s movement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(6), 1545-1555.

National Women’s History Project (n.d.). History of the Women’s Rights Movement. Retrieved from http://www.nwhp.org/resources/womens-rights-movement/history-of-the-womens-rights-movement/

Swirsky, J. M., & Angelone, D. J. (2014). Femi-nazis and bra burning crazies: A qualitative evaluation of contemporary beliefs about feminism, Current Psychology, 33(3), 229-245.

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