When Men Lose Superiority
The closing of equality gaps between the sexes in developed countries
Feminism is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men”. However, in modern society, feminists have been given the stereotype of being whiny, lonely women out to bash men and gain more power for their own sex. In America, feminism is becoming intimidating to once superior men, since in regard to “political, social, and economic equality,” women are closing the gaps, and men are losing their power. This is why men give it such a negative connotation — out of the fear of losing their superiority over a once inferior sex. This is compared to a place like Egypt, where the wage gap is currently nonexistent because women can’t even work. Therefore, feminism really is centered on gender equality, except it gains a negative connotation when the superiority of men becomes threatened.
In America today there are certainly double standards against women — male leaders are strong and admirable, female leaders are bossy. As problematic as this is, on the global spectrum it comes across as a first world problem when you contrast it with the problems of women in Egypt. At least women can hold leadership positions here — the problem is more of a stigma which women can easily fix since men and women are already on equal ground here in regard to opportunities, thanks to the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other fearless suffragists. Bringing feminism and women’s rights into today’s issues in America is what incites the lashing out and negative connotation towards feminism. This lashing out in America typically stems from men fearing women gaining power over them, a typical response given the nature of sexism throughout history. When the dominant sex begins to lose its superiority, naturally, it will go on the defensive. This contributes to why men in first world countries attack feminism.
A common example of this is when men talk about being equal but still always paying on dates. Obviously women are able to help pay, but it’s simply a matter of being a gentleman and paying for her as part of your responsibility as such. This argument is reflective of men fearing their loss of power — almost like they have to come up with something to respond to the advancements of women. Even in developed, first world countries women are simply trying to make themselves as equal in society as they can, like trying to close the wage gap. As a male, with the small amount of credibility I have on the matter, even I can say definition of feminism remains upheld, and not contradicted — they’re only seeking equal pay. And although women aren’t directly mentioned in the Constitution, they have every right that men. Other places are less giving to women.
In Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive, or leave the house without a male protector. There are countries where females are denied an education, can be forced into marriages, and can face sexual assault and tampering without protection from the law. Here, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men” is very much needed. The feminist mission has a lot of ground to cover in these places, and there’s no room for it to be refocused like it is in America. It’s relatable to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; you can’t progress to the next level until the previous levels are met: women in some countries are still at level one.
Feminism is only focused on basic equality here — when women lack natural rights, there’s really no other priority except to secure them. Women in Egypt don’t care about the wage gap right now — their goal is to just be able to work and enjoy the freedoms that women in America and other developed nations do. While women are still discriminated against and disrespected to say the least, it isn’t feminism that’s taking the heat because the men still have all the superiority and power — they’re not threatened. Feminism is very young in some places: we’re fortunate enough to live in a place where women are lucky enough to have the rights that they have.
Perspective has a lot to do with one’s perception of feminism. In America, where women and men are closely equal, feminism unfairly gets a lot of negative attention due to the basic nature of sexism. But relative to some other countries, women have it great here — they can vote, get an education, and work the same jobs as men. Their cause has developed as the country has, attempting to fix issues like the wage gap. This can selfishly bother the men who would be losing money through this deal, and with it their superiority. In less fortunate places, feminism obviously has its work much more clearly cut out for it, which is to secure at least basic rights for women. Therefore, feminism really is all about equality, but when the superiority of men becomes threatened it is given a negative connotation from those at risk.