Have you ever seen a flyer in the women’s restroom at Seowon University? Maybe it said that there will be a lecture on gender equality. Only a few decades ago, it would have been hard to hear these kinds of lectures easily. This is an example of how women’s human rights have grown. Then you can think about how women’s rights have progressed.
Feminism is derived from the Latin word “femina”, which means having the characteristics of a woman. Women have been oppressed for many years because of man’s sexist central view. Feminism is the ideology that women are equal to men.
Historically, men have led many things, such as social affairs and politics. Women thought women deserved their lower role. Much effort has been made to liberate women from discrimination and we have reached our current generation through the waves of primary feminism as well as the waves of the second and third.
The first wave of feminism lasted from the 19th century through the 1950s and was most active in Britain and the United States. It was caused by the desire to repel all those who considered femininity as a lower status in the 19th century. The feminist thinkers of this period fought for women to participate in politics that until this time, only men could participate in, and they fought for women to be allowed to own property. It is also called liberal feminism because it strives for women to manifest their full potential. The second wave of feminism refers to feminism form the 1960s to the 1980s. During this period, feminists focused on liberating women from various social inequalities, including labor and wage problems.
The third wave of feminism refers to feminism since the 1990s until now. Feminist movements grew as many women became interested in race, nationality, religion, and hierarchy. They also emphasized respect for individual experiences and for their choices. Through these waves, various kinds of feminism emerged such as anarchistic feminism, Marxist feminism, and materialistic feminism. As the concept of feminism was established, the concept of misogyny was born. Misogyny is a term that is used to express female hatred. Female aversion is sexual prejudice and oppression of women in male-centered societies.
This is found throughout our society. An example of this can be found when looking at kakao talk emoticons. A shy emoticon of a woman with a flower on her head reflects a view on women. We have never thought about why female emoticons are spiky or embarrassed emoticons. These seemingly trivial things added together can be viewed as a form if misogyny.
In the 21st century, social networks on the internet have become commonplace in society and misogyny has become popular online. Most of the targets are women who are publicly exposed, women who talk about a threat they are receiving, or women who seem to be involved in feminist movements. However, those who attack women can do it anonymously and they are hard to find.
Female abhorrence is not only carried by men but also women. According to a survey conducted by think tank demos at the British Parliament, half of women’s abominations on the Internet come from women.
For thousands of years with patriarchy as the traditional power structure, women have not acted independently. Today there are women who see themselves as submissive and passive in a man-centered society where participation in power and decision-making is still difficult. And there are misogynistic men who are completely unaware that they are misogynistic.
If you want to prevent it, you should know the history of feminism and we need to think about how women and men can become equal. Are you knocking on the invisible windshield now?