I always think its so funny when people say they’re not a feminist because they believe in equal rights.
Whilst feminism is the enhancement of both genders in the hopes of reaching an optimal social status without any form of gender based discrimination at all whatsoever.
Equal rights just means… well the same rights.
Let’s take the gender wage gap for example. In South Africa women earn 28% less than men for the same job and under the same conditions. Meaning that south African women make 72 cents for every 1 rand that a man makes.
So if we were to apply equal rights here we would say that both women and men should be earning 72 cents because that would make it equal right?
If we applied feminism we would say that both men and women deserve to earn one rand because they both worked hard for that money.
Let’s look at another example: education.
According to Worldwide Stats, In Bangladesh the male/female ratio of education is 10/6. This means that for every ten boys sent to school only six girls go.
So if we had to look at this from the equal rights angle we would say that it could be simple to just kick 4 boys out of each classroom to make the number of male and female students equal.
However, from a feminist point of view we would say that more girl children should be sent to school in order to even out the opportunities.
Let’s look at this from the male perspective. In the USA female infant genital mutilation is illegal, however male infant genital mutilation is legal and occurs frequently in the form of circumcision. This is usually seen as a religious freedom.
So if we used the equal rights platform we would say that both male and female infant genital mutilation should be legal because in some religions its customary to mutilate female genitals.
However, from a feminist perspective we would agree that neither male nor female infant genital mutilation should be legal.