Bettina Aptheker's Working Concept Of Feminism In Modern Society

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Feminism is a word that is very loosely used to weave growing concepts together within today’s society, often leading to misunderstanding. I, a young, white woman of Middle Eastern descent, have a unique definition of the word through the experiences of my elders in Iran, as well as the struggle to grow up in modern day United States culture. The concept of feminism is very simple on the surface, meaning the equality of all genders to the rights of opportunity, love and happiness. It is important to realize this in order to be truly equal with our peers. Initially, I thought that feminism was only a component of modern day society, but through Feminism & Social Justice, I learned that that was exactly what we were brought up to think. “We teach …show more content…
We make them feel as though by being born female, they are already guilty of something.” (Avichie, 33) This statement made by Avichie very clearly demonstrates the intersectionality of feminist theory. This is a complement of race and class, struggles that are also still vibrant. In Bettina Aptheker’s “Working definition of feminism”, she demands that we fix all these societal structures that are rooted against women and different people before we can really address the problem of feminism. (Aptheker, 1) Avichie, in her work We Should All Be Feminists says, “Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general-but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender.” (Avichie, 41). Both Aptheker and Avichie express how vital overall equality and quality of life are in order to start the argument towards a status change of equality between genders. “My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.’” (Avichie, 48) Avichie declares that this change needs to happen, while Aptheker displays what exactly needs to change in “A Working Definition of …show more content…
To me, this means that throughout our lives we, females, are being told that men are the superior sex and we must look to them for guidance. “If I liked a boy, I would ask Okoloma’s opinion.” (Avichie, 7) Avichie didn’t even realize when she was so young that this is unhealthy behavior, unconsciously being told that what men think is more crucial than how you see yourself as a woman. “boys and girls are undeniably different biologically, but socialization exaggerates the differences…” (Avichie, 35). Industrial Revolution was the original event that lead to the division between masculinity and femininity. (Weber, 92) “Gender, too, is socially constructed in the struggles between groups over society’s scarce resources (Fausto-Sterling 2000).” (Weber, 103). Even Avichie wrote about how back in the pre-historic days having a male-oriented society made sense “Because human beings lived then in a world in which physical strength was the most important attribute for survival.” (Avichie, 17) Nowadays we can easily label women as independent and therefore need to reject this prehistoric notion of male dominance. Recalling back to Bettina Aptheker and Avichie’s notes about feminism, we know that it will take a lot of time to completely erase what we have grown up with, and to change gender constructs in order to achieve the purest form of

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