Feminist Glossary: Basic terms of feminism

Feminism is an ideology that aims the ‘Gender Equality’ and to end the ‘Gender stereotypes’. The belief of feminism is that women should also get equal opportunities like men. Feminists campaign for deprived ‘women’s rights.

The main objective of feminism is that women’s freedom. For ages, women don’t enjoy freedom due to stereotypical society. Everyone has the right to enjoy and access their freedom without being stereotyped on the basis of their gender. A man can also be a Feminist if he supports the concept of equality. So, Feminism movements give importance to female choices how freely they want to live and enjoy their life. Though there are many theories, books, articles etc. to understand feminism deeply you should know at least some basic terminology related to feminism. Read the article for more details.

So, here are 5 basic terms of feminism

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1. Patriarchy

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Patriarchy is the main reason for women’s oppression. A system of society in which male dominates females. Undoubtedly, in Indian households, we have seen our fathers and grandfathers have special powers to take important decisions of the household which is a gift of a patriarchal system to them. Domestic violence, verbally abuses the wage gap, judging women to be bold, saying people that ‘we have given the freedom to women’ etc are part of patriarchy. Not only females but males are also victims of patriarchy. Pressure on man to behave like typical man, the sole breadwinner of the family because maybe because of the family’s perspective that women can’t work after marriage as in order to curb her financial independence and have no other option but to depend on a man.

So, patriarchy is a defamatory element of society. Don’t tolerate casual sexism, try to educate people by explaining gender equality, stop people whenever they stereotype someone etc. these are some ways to smash the patriarchy.

2. Benevolent Sexism

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Benevolent sexism is a type of Sexism that believes to stereotype women as a part of compliments and advises. Stereotyping females as caretakers, bad drivers, expecting shy nature, saying that you are not like other girls, sexist jokes on women, believing that women are incomplete without motherhood etc are part of benevolent sexism. It is a kind of positively insulting females. So, next time don’t let someone tell you how females should be. Be yourself, your existence doesn’t need to please others.

3. Misogyny

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Misogyny is discrimination done against women for not accepting and adjusting to the patriarchy system. A negative way to insult women for their choices. Shaming females for short dresses, judging women for talking openly about sex, shame women for not being virgin before marriage, bold and outspoken women are considered as bad women for society, for doing love marriages may be in the same religion, inter-religion and inter-caste etc. Misogynists want to control freedom of women. According to them breaking stereotypes and to live life on own terms is injurious to their patriarchal mindsets.

You can find misogynistic people anywhere whether in routine life as well as on Social media. Insulting and shaming females on social media, abusive comments, rape threats to female etc. So, these are some traits of misogynistic people.

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4. Sexual Coercion

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Sexual Coercion is a situation where sexual consent of women is tricked, pressurized, threatened by doing emotional blackmail, making fake marriage promises to partner etc. Partners blackmail females either to leave them or by saying that they don’t love them that’s why they do not agree to do sex with them. It is a kind of mentally tortured to women for not having consent. Manipulated females agree to unwanted sex. The extreme level of sexual coercion causes ‘Sexual Harrassment’ to women.

5. Rape Culture

basic terms of feminism
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Rape culture means normalising rape in society by doing victim-blaming and slut-shaming. According to this Culture‘Boys will be boys’ it means they cannot control their sexual urge. Instead of this women should not wear provocative clothes or sacrifice their choices to be safe from this. Rape threats to Females for being outspoken, eve-teasing girls, romanticising stalking etc. Rape culture protects the rapists by victim-blaming and illogical reasons to curb women’s independence. Misogynistic mindsets and deep-rooted patriarchy form the ‘Rape Culture’.

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So, these were some basic feminist terms you should learn to understand feminism better.

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