In a place like Nigeria, feminism has been called various names and defined by a lot of people differently, but you may wonder what is feminism, who is a feminist? what does it entail to stand for feminism? Is feminism really bad? These are questions that this article will clarify as you read.

Feminism is originally defined as a belief system in total equality for women in every area of life which includes social, political, and economic sectors majorly. Feminism entails more than just advocating for women and it doesn't entail hate for the male gender as it is done in some parts of West Africa, especially in Nigeria.

The rise of feminism was a response to the restricted rights of women and this thought has risen globally and is being practiced wrongly, not only in Nigeria but some other parts of the world describe feminists as "men haters". Feminism has gained dominance worldwide with various institutions whose main aim is to commit to activities that will defend the rights and interests of women.

Western history recorded that women were restricted into the domestic segment and the men were allowed to take the stage. In places across the world too, women have been denied rights to study, have their property, and even do things that men do. Going deeper into history, there were still places in the 19th century that a man was given the right to sell his wife if he pleases and in the political world, women weren't allowed to vote or hold official positions.

This dehumanizing went as far as disallowing women to run businesses even if there was no male representative. Married women were treated like slaves in their own homes and women weren't allowed to be educated in some places or take up professions, that were mainly dominated by men. We won't deny that in some parts of the world today, some of these restrictions continue and this is the core motive for the move of feminism globally.

Short History Of How Feminism Started

After some underground work by some women in the late '80s, in the late 1960s, which was regarded as the second wave of the movement, the women's rights movement took root in America and spread widely across because of higher restrictions to the growth of the female gender. The civil rights movement also supported women regardless of their age, were engaged in discussions about gender discrimination and violence and the nature of equality of gender even with the understanding that men and women are different and what is important is that women enjoy the basic rights of being human.

Different groups began to arise globally and a notable move is the National Organisation for Women (NOW) which launched a campaign for legal equity. The second wave of feminism provoked a lot of movement, unlike the first wave that was quick to die down and there was massive involvement in the oppression of women and the restrictions to the rights of the female gender. 

There were different rises of different people with opinions and this thwarted the plan to have a united feminism ideology and changed the definition of who a feminist is in different places. This gave rise to three different streams of feminism which include:

Liberal Feminism

This was consisted of a focused approach to help women into positions officially structured to men only. It was on an institutional and governmental level to give women equal rights to offices that men are holding also. They focused on strict equality enforcement rules that gave men and women equal positions of power in every way possible. Liberal feminist groups supported every cause of women that restricted them from rising to power and enjoy every benefit that a male would enjoy.

Radical Feminism

Approaching different, radical feminism was interested in reshaping the societal restrictions and providing structures that will help the female gender thrive. Radical feminists argued that women should be allowed to also take part in social decision-making that was male-biased and they fought to develop an anti-authoritarian approach to societal politics and institutions.

Cultural Feminism

Also called the difference feminism, this group was majorly aimed at celebrating the qualities that men and women are different and should do things differently. They didn't associate themselves with thinking that women can function as men, they saw it as degrading that women wanted to be like men when they are created differently.

There was a third and fourth wave of feminism, improving and building up the early foundation set by the first and second waves. This involved a lot of attention from celebrities all over the world and falling into the different categories of feminism as earlier stated above, they soon found their roots.

Is Feminism Bad?

This is a question asked by upcoming generations and people who have seen different feminists attack the male gender. Feminism is originally seen as a fight for equity between both gender as equality will mean that the uniqueness that we carry as male and female be removed.

The fight is against anyone that tampers with the basic rights of the human- female and tries to restrict the voice of the female gender. The fight is to gain victory and independence from violence generally as females, restrictions on access to education in various parts of the world, sexual exploitation and oppression, the relegation of some rights for the female. The aim is to ensure that the female gender has a future that is secured in the uniqueness of being a woman, every female all over the world can understand her rights and exercise them appropriately. The aim is not to hate men or talk down on the male gender thereby also abusing their basic rights as humans. Feminism is a fight for peace for proper co-existence as male and female and understanding that a male can never be a female neither can a female become a male but they have the right to live well and safe in the world. 

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