Education free essay: Feminist Work
Feminist work encompasses any undertaking or activity meant to support or advocate for the rights of women. The work of feminists encompasses all efforts meant to establish, define and achieve equal social, personal, economic and political rights for women. Feminists are aware of the fact that most societies are dominated by patriarchal social and family structures. One of the most remarkable features of patriarchal structures is that they allow for elevation of men and suppression of women. In such societies, men gain power that enables them to dominate over women (Nicholson 9). The values of patriarchy limit the ability of women to be equal to men and even to exploit important opportunities in life. In this regard, feminists focus on fighting against any kind of discrimination or oppression perpetrated by men against women. They fight against the values of patriarchy that allow for the suppression of women (Nicholson 9). Feminists also fight against oppression of women in all other facets of life. As explained in this paper, feminist work is joyous because it gives those who are engaged in it a sense of freedom from oppression and the power and courage to become who they would like in life. Despite this, there are numerous challenges that those who engage in feminist work encounter. In this regard, this paper presents an explanation of how the feminist work is joyous and it enables feminists to achieve what they want in life. Also, the paper explores the challenges that are associated with the feminist work.
Feminist work is interesting and joyous in various ways. One of the interesting parts of the feminist work is that it makes feminists feel as if they are free from oppression and discrimination and it also gives them power and courage to free other women from oppression. Most feminists have an interest in understanding established laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. They quickly distinguish acts of discrimination perpetrated by men against themselves and against other women. As such, they respond swiftly to any acts of discrimination of perceived discrimination (McRobbie 58). The interesting part is that feminists enjoy giving courage and assisting other women who are discriminated against to know, their rights and they give tem courage to fight against discrimination.
In my case, for instance, I have encountered many women who are oppressed and discriminated against, yet they are stranded and do know how to respond to the acts of oppression and discrimination. A young woman living in my neighbourhood was constantly harassed by an assistant manager at work place. The assistant manager constantly threatened to be overloading her with work and to block opportunities for promotion if she refused to give him sexual favours. The young woman did not disclose to anyone about the harassment because she feared that she would lose her job. One day she explained to me about the issue. I enjoyed as I assisted her know her rights and as she gained courage to face the assistant manager and openly fight against sexual harassment. After she succeeded, I felt that I have an obligation to assist support very many other women who suffer in silence from oppression and discrimination. In short, feminists enjoy since they feel that they are free from oppression and as they free other women from oppression and discrimination.
Feminist work is more joyous since it paves way for those who engage in it to become who they want to be or to achieve what they want in life (Fuss 37). As stated earlier, most societies where patriarchy is dominant have values that tend to limit the ability of women to achieve what they want, not in material progression, but to simply become who they want in life. In some societies where patriarchy is dominant, for instance, women are criticized for taking certain subjects in school, such as engineering. Such subjects are perceived as being suited for men. In numerous cases, women fail to put efforts in areas of interest due to fear that they are going against the societal norms as well as due to fear they are going to be criticized. Feminist work expels fear of being judged among those who engage in it and gives them power and courage of becoming who they want. Precisely, feminist work drives feminists to venture in all areas of interest in life without fear.
Despite being joyous, feminist work is associated with several major challenges that feminists have to deal with. One of the major challenges of the feminist work is that the efforts of feminists to fight for equality of women are sometimes rendered futile especially in cases where they deal with people who stick to traditional norms and values associated with patriarchy systems (Narayan 96). During my work as a feminist, I have encountered numerous instances where women who are suffering from oppression perpetrated by their husbands turn against me when I inform them about their rights and how they should respond to the oppression. I once dealt with a case of a couple that had migrated from an African country to the United States. I witnessed two instances where the husband slapped the wife within a period of one month. One day, I decided to talk to the woman and raised the issue. When I tried to explain to her about the step she should take to prevent similar occurrences in the future, she stated that in their culture it was normal for a man to slap his wife. The wife refused to heed to any of my advices.
Another challenge faced by feminists is that many people fail to understand the role of feminism and most of those who do so believe that the role of feminism is over since there are established laws and regulations meant to enhance equality of women. Consequently, most people and organizations to not take feminist work seriously. Another challenge is that feminists face challenges from different groups in the society that react against the ideas and activities associated with feminism, such as government agencies and men and scholars who are against feminism (Fuss 54).
Overall, feminist work entails all activities and practices undertaken to support and to advocate for the equality of women. Feminist work, as explained in the above discussion, is joyous since it leads feminists to feel as if they are free from oppression and discrimination and it gives them power and courage to free other women from oppression. The fact that feminist work enables feminists to become who they want in life makes feminist work even more enjoyable. Despite this, feminists encounter several challenges that they have to deal with as they carry out feminist work.
Fuss, Diana. Essentially Speaking: Feminism, Nature and Difference. New York: Routledge,
McRobbie, Angela. The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change. Los
Angeles: SAGE, 2009. Print.
Narayan, Uma. Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third World Feminism. New
York: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Nicholson, Linda. Feminism/Postmodernism. London: Routledge, 2013. Print.
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