Editorial: Does the Feminist Movement Need a New Name?

Editorial: Does the Feminist Movement Need a New Name?

James Baker, Reporter

In a country where the presumptive nominee for president in one of our two major parties is a woman it must be true that feminist values are not far from center stage. I support values like pay equity and a woman’s right to choose and think that they are necessary in our modern culture. Feminist values are what the modern world needs, except for one thing, it should not be called feminism.

It made sense that a movement that was striving for women’s suffrage would be called feminism. It was fighting for the rights of women. I get it. What I do not get is why the equal rights movement of today is primarily labeled as the feminist movement by its members. All the time I hear that they mean the same thing, and I totally agree they are both efforts to earn equality for sexes and races.

Here’s the thing, according to a poll taken by the New York Times, only 18% of U.S. citizens consider themselves feminists, and yet 85% believe in equality for women. 85% of people are for equal rights, but only 18% consider themselves feminists. What in the world is the deal? The problem is that no matter how many times you tell people feminism and an equal rights movement mean the same thing, people are inevitably going to hear the word feminism and connect it solely to problems affecting women.

Those problems are most definitely large and in need of solving; however, if people think that feminists only want to fix women’s problems they probably will say they aren’t a feminist because they don’t want to only fix women’s problems. I don’t think that feminism is only trying to solve the problems that affect women today, but when 82% of our country do not consider themselves feminist and yet 85% agree with equal rights; I think it would be a smart idea to call it an equal rights movement instead of a feminist movement. After all, they do mean the same thing.

If the movement were to be titled an “equal rights movement” rather than a feminist movement, I think it would likely pick up much more steam in terms of a following, all while still fighting for the same ideas. Adapting to a situation is key to success and in this situation I think it is important for the activists for equality to come together under one unified movement rather than staying apart because of an unnecessary title.

Most people already believe in the values of equality. Now, all they need is a movement they are willing to back, and that movement should be easily suppliable from a simple change of name, because then instead of hearing feminism and thinking feminine rights people will hear equal rights and think well, equal rights for all.

For the sake of all types of humans that everyone can finally unify under a movement that can achieve equality for all.