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TOK Presentation - Feminism

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by

Doug Bertie

on 9 June 2016

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Transcript of TOK Presentation - Feminism

WHY WE NEED THE "F-WORD"
FEMINISM, THAT IS
"I'm a feminist. I've been a female for a long time now. It'd be stupid not be on my own side" MAYA ANGELOU
FEMINISM DEFINED:
Feminism is a range of movements that aim to achieve
equal
political, economic, personal and social rights for ALL women. It is equal rights for women in all aspects of life. Simple!
The word, "feminism", has received a lot of attention lately, with many people arguing it is
outdated
or
counterintuitive
.
"That word can be very
extreme
… I do believe in equality … But I'm happily married.
I love my husband
." BEYONCE
"We don't need to be feminists
in my generation
" CARLA BRUNI
"...I'm a
humanist
. I'm enormously appreciative of the work that my mother's generation did...but
it's not just about women now
." SARAH JESSICA PARKER
THE ARGUMENTS
- sexism has been solved
- "feminism" is old-fashioned
- it's too aggressive
- not sufficiently inclusive
- carries too many implications
THE SUGGESTED
REPLACEMENTS

"HUMANISM"
"EQUALISM"
Why "humanism" won't work...
Why "equalism" won't work...
HUMANISM:
1. any system or mode of thought or action in which human interests, values, and dignity predominate.

2. devotion to or study of the humanities.

3. (sometimes initial capital letter) the studies, principles, or culture of the humanists.

4. Philosophy. a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.
"EQUALISM"
Feminism focuses on the disadvantages of one particular group:
WOMEN
.
We must address the current situation... We live in a world where
women are widely discriminated against
.
Although equality is the desired end result, before achieving equality we have to address the discrimination against women in particular.
Simply believing that everyone should have the same rights doesn't mean they do.
how do
CULTURE
and
HISTORY
influence LANGUAGE?
WHAT IS CULTURE?
- way of life of a group of people
- behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols they accept
- passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next
In what ways are culture and language connected?
- language is how we express ourselves and our culture
- the language we use differs based on our region, nationality, and culture
- words are therefore different in different languages, translation and interpretation can impact meaning
- the expectations and social norms of our culture influence the words we use
For my REAL LIFE SITUATION...
- our North American culture is constantly trying to modernize and become better
- this attitude is sometimes applied to words and language
"outdated" or culturally "insensitive" words are removed from our vocabulary or replaced by more "current" language
"FEMINISM"
The word is being threatened and replacements have been suggested, as a result of our cultural expectations. People believe the issues relating to sexism have been solved, so the word is too harsh.
BUT
You must acknowledge a word's
HISTORY
and its implications before deciding to replace it.
In what ways are history and language connected?
- as time passes, languages are shaped and changed and modernized
- past events and conflicts alter our perception of words and can create negative connotations
- words are created to fill a need or as a response to conflict and political movement
The history of the word
"FEMINISM"
"...how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when
feminism is a
bad word
?”
ELLEN PAGE
- invented by 19th century French socialist philosopher, Charles Fourier (his term was "feminisme")
Fourier did not believe in full gender equality because he thought the genders were too biologically different to be treated the same.
He was a utopian thinker and in his ideal world, workers would change their occupation up to eight times a day to avoid repetition and monotony.
Although "feminism" had strange beginnings...
the word was quickly adopted by activists and began showing up in English in the UK and America
The word "feminIST" was not used as a self-descriptor until the mid-twentieth century (it's only around 60 years old).
THE POINT IS
THE WORD "FEMINISM" WAS ADOPTED TO FILL A NEED.
Women were speaking up and advocating for their rights and this movement needed a name.
Fourier's "feminisme" was it, whether he liked it or not, and whether we like it or not.
LET'S BRING THIS ALL TOGETHER, SHALL WE?
Every word we use as a label for a movement, a group, or a culture has heavy
implications
and significant
meaning
.
CULTURE AND HISTORY ARE CLOSELY TIED WITH LANGUAGE
Therefore, we must take into account the importance of a word's history and its significance before changing or replacing it.
Because language makes us who we are.
Whether it be spoken words, written words, or symbols, language brings us together, tears us apart, and writes our history.
SO, HOW DO HISTORY AND CULTURE INFLUENCE LANGUAGE?
In every way.
History
invents, reworks, and shapes the language we use.
A
culture
's social norms, expectations, and principles challenge words and language and alter our perception of the world.
As for "FEMINISM"?
THE WORD MUST STAY!
Bibliography
Thorpe, J R. "Why Feminism Still Needs to Be Called Feminism." Bustle. N.p., 6 Nov. 2015. Web. 8 June 2016.
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