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What is Feminism? and other tangents

My feminism is NOT one about women’s rights, and frankly, it really bothers me when the movement is reduced to women’s rights. I understand that it came out of “women’s rights” but I wish that the general movement were beyond that now, the way we are no longer about suffrage.

My feminism is “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression” (bell hooks). hooks tells us that this definition demands that we understand what sexism is.

So what is sexism? I think sexism is sex/gender essentialism— the idea that knowing someone’s sex or gender tells you anything useful and innate about any individual within that gender or sex category. For instance, sex essentialism tells us that if women are weaker than men, than any individual woman should be slower than any individual man, or it tells us that if women are naturally more nurturing than men, than any individual woman is more nurturing than any individual man.

But how do we know what to infer when sex and gender essentializing? In other words, how do we know how to complete the phrase: woman are _____ and men are _____. Ah, yes. From gender stereotypes. But stereotype is really just a word for “something that poses as a definition, but is only sometimes true.” For example, men don’t cry. Okay, so stereotypes are definitions that are not always true, they are definitions that we have already conceded are not really definitions. But what are some ...

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