“The point of feminism is you shouldn’t have to be a man to be treated with equal respect.”
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, Activist
Pros and Cons of Feminism
Feminism is an ideology that aims to establish the equality of men and women in various areas of our daily life. This includes political, social as well as economic perspectives.
Feminism has become quite popular over the past decade. Yet, there are also some problems related to this ideology. In this article, the pros and cons of feminism are examined in detail.
Advantages of Feminism
- Feminism may strengthen human rights
- Less gender discrimination
- Gender quotas
- Better access to education
- Higher level of freedom
- Better overall treatment of women
- Higher wages for women
- May make leaving an unhappy marriage easier
- Freedom to vote is encouraged
- May help to break male hierarchies
- Higher quality of life for women
- Confidence among women may increase
- Better chance for a leading corporate career for women
- May lead to a more tolerant society
- Healthy mix between men and women may also help companies
Feminism may strengthen human rights
One major advantage of feminism is that it can strengthen our human rights. Our human rights should also include treating men and women as equal as possible in order to enable everyone with similar chances in life, independent of whether the person is borne as a male or female. The feminist movement aims to achieve this goal and also raises awareness of this important topic.
This is especially crucial in countries where there is still a big difference between men and women in all parts of daily life and in order to improve the overall chances for women, feminism can be an effective tool to accomplish a higher level of equality.
Less gender discrimination
Gender inequality is still a big issue in many parts of the world. Women are often not allowed to work in certain professions or to participate in certain social activities that are still reserved for men. Also, their overall rights may be quite confined in general.
In order to strengthen the rights of women, the feminist movement can make a big difference since people become more aware of the problem of gender inequality and the overall tolerance in our society towards women may increase significantly.
Another advantage of feminism is that it tries to promote gender quotas for various parts of our daily life. For instance, the vast majority of leading positions in the corporate world are still occupied by men and women are often not present too much. Moreover, also in politics, there are still far fewer women than men.
Even though this changed a little bit over the past years, there might still be a need for gender quotas to tackle the inequality issue and to make it more acceptable for women to work in those important positions.
Better access to education
In many countries all over the world, women also often have quite limited access to education. Especially in poor parts of our planet, people often have many kids and parents cannot financially afford to send all of them to school.
Therefore, they have to decide which family members they want to give the opportunity to get proper education and which family members will not get this opportunity.
In many poor countries, there is no social security and parents rely on their children to take care of them once they get old. Most often, boys will get the opportunity to get education in school since they are better able to provide for the family afterward compared to girls and girls will suffer from a serious lack of education.
In order to give girls a better chance for proper education, it is crucial to raise the awareness on the education topic so that also every girl gets the chance to attend school and to get a certain level of education to have better chances to get out of poverty at one point in time.
Higher level of freedom
In general, the overall level of freedom of women in many countries is still rather low and men usually have much more rights in general. Yet, freedom is one of our most important goods and should be considered to be a human right, independent of whether you are male or female.
Feminism can help to promote a higher level of freedom for women since it strives for a higher level of equality in all parts of our daily life.
Better overall treatment of women
Women are also often treated quite poorly by men in many countries all over the world. In many regions, women are rather considered more as goods rather than as human beings and men often have learned to treat their women quite poorly.
In many cases, even though women may suffer from quite poor overall living conditions, they are not able to improve their quality of life since they will often be discriminated in all parts of their daily life.
In order to improve the overall conditions for women, feminism can also help in this regard since it promotes equal treatment of men and women and if the overall acceptance regarding this social norm increases, men will tend to treat women much better in general.
Higher wages for women
Another upside of feminism is that it might lead to higher wages for women. In our current state of the world, women still earn far less than men on average. Even in the case when men and women work in similar jobs, men tend to earn significantly more money. This can be considered to be quite unfair and feminists often claim that men and women should have equal pay for similar jobs.
Therefore, in order to increase fairness regarding salaries in the corporate world, feminism can play an important role and chances are that wages will become equal for women and men in the long run if feminists continue to work hard on it.
May make leaving an unhappy marriage easier
Many women all over the world also suffer in their marriages quite a lot and urgently want to leave their husbands. However, in many countries, leaving a marriage is not easy at all. Quite often, women even have to fear to be sentenced to prison or even to death.
Therefore, even though they might be stuck in unhappy marriages, women will not have the courage to leave their husbands since they fear the severe consequences that might be associated with divorce.
Hence, feminism might also make it easier for women to leave a marriage since it may lead to a change in laws so that leaving a marriage will no longer be sentenced and women could leave whenever they want to do so.
Freedom to vote is encouraged
In some countries, women are still not even allowed to vote. Yet, voting is quite important to show political attitude and to have the ability to influence how the future of a country and its local population will look like.
Therefore, it is crucial that as many people as possible have the chance to vote since only then, the preferences and wishes of the majority of the general public will be represented by parliament.
Feminism can also help women to get a right to vote since it promotes the equality of men and women and in case the overall acceptance towards women increases in a society, men will also be more willing to let women participate in elections.
May help to break male hierarchies
There are also many jobs out there where you will not find too many women at all. This is especially true in technical professions or in professions that also require plenty of physical work.
While it is undeniable that men have more physical power and it makes sense that those physically demanding jobs are occupied by men, there are many other jobs that could also be carried out by women.
Yet, women are often belittled and not accepted in jobs with strong male hierarchies. Therefore, in order to give women the opportunity to excel in those jobs, feminism might play an important role since it may set the framework so that it is easier for women to start a corporate career in those types of professions.
Higher quality of life for women
Feminism aims to raise awareness regarding the equality of men and women in society. This is crucial so that women are valued more by men, especially in countries where women are still not considered to be equally important compared to men and still suffer from many disadvantages in their daily life.
Only if the awareness on this important topic is raised, the overall tolerance in society tends to increase towards women, which in turn may lead to a significantly higher quality of life for women.
Confidence among women may increase
Since women are still suppressed in many countries all over the globe, their lack of confidence is often significant. Women are often told by their men that they are worthless and this may translate into serious mental issues over time.
Consequently, in order to increase the overall confidence levels of women, feminism can play an important role since it promotes equal rights and shows women that they are in fact equally important as men.
Better chance for a leading corporate career for women
Another benefit of feminism is that it can make it easier for women to get a chance for a leading corporate career. The top positions in the corporate world are still mainly occupied by men and even though more women entered the top tier positions in corporations of the past decade, women are still underrepresented in those jobs.
Hence, in order to give women a better chance to get one of those demanding jobs, the feminist movement can help in this regard since it promotes gender quotas and also equal pay. Therefore, not only the chances to get one of those jobs increases, also the chance for equal pay in those jobs increases through the spread of feminism.
May lead to a more tolerant society
Feminism can also help us to achieve a much more tolerant society. Even though many people claim that they are tolerant, the fact of the matter is that words are cheap and when we want to see how tolerant people really are, we have to look at their actions rather than listening to their words. When I look around, there is still a significant level of intolerance toward minorities in our society.
In many countries across the world, there is also a significant level of intolerance towards women. Therefore, in order to lower the level of intolerance towards women in our society, feminism may play a crucial role to promote equal rights for all of us and to break the male hierarchy in all parts of our current state of the world.
Healthy mix between men and women may also help companies
It has also been shown by many studies that teams that are composed of men and women work the best in the corporate world. Thus, even though many people are still skeptical regarding the concept of gender quotas, more women in leading positions may also help corporations to strengthen their market positions and to make higher profits in the long run.
Disadvantages of the Feminist Movement
- May lead to excessive advantages of women
- Feminism may discriminate men
- Women may be preferred in case of divorce
- Feminists may take it too far
- Frustration among men may increase
- Women may not be accepted in certain positions
- Men and women are borne with different characteristics
- Women get a certain attitude
- More career women means fewer children
- Bureaucratic work
- Even some women think feminism is unnecessary
- May not make sense from a historical perspective
- Long-term effects still rather unclear
May lead to excessive advantages of women
Apart from the many advantages of the feminist movement, there are also some issues related to it. One problem of feminism is that it can lead to excessive advantages for women and in fact lead to a state where women will have all the advantages while men will have the downside.
For instance, if gender quotas are introduced, women may get promoted even though they might be less qualified just to fulfill the quota.
There are many other examples where women might be preferred while men will have the downside of it and therefore, feminism indeed poses the danger that women will get excessive advantages in our society through the feminist movement.
Feminism may discriminate men
Many men may also feel discriminated against by the feminist movement. For instance, there are many men out there who already treat their women quite good and hence, they see no need for feminism at all. Thus, those men will tend not to tolerate feminism since they will simply see no sense in it.
Women may be preferred in case of divorce
Another downside of feminism is that women often have all the upsides when it comes to divorce. Men often have to pay for alimony, not only to support their kids but also to support their ex-wife. Moreover, women often get full custody of their kids in case of divorce and men are often only able to see their kids a few times a month.
All this can be considered to be quite unfair from a man’s perspective and those political and social outcomes in case of divorce can be heavily attributed to feminism.
Feminists may take it too far
While many women practice feminism in a rather moderate manner, a minor fraction of women also practice this concept in a quite radical manner. Some feminists make claims that simply go too far in my opinion and while I agree that moderate feminism can be a good thing, too much of it may do more harm than good.
Frustration among men may increase
In states where feminism is quite prevalent and where men already suffered from quite a lot of injustice related to it, men may also get quite frustrated about this ideology. For instance, imagine you recently got divorced from your wife and have to pay large amounts of money for alimony while your ex-wife might even alienate your kids from you.
Chances are that you would get quite angry due to the overall unfair situation, wouldn’t you?! Therefore, feminism and the related effects may also lead to a high level of frustration of men who have to suffer from unfair treatment in various parts of their lives.
Women may not be accepted in certain positions
If women are just promoted due to gender quotas and not since they are the best candidate for the job, chances are that their male colleagues might not accept them.
Therefore, even though it might be easier to get leading corporate jobs through feminist movements, women might have a quite hard time to get accepted by their male colleagues.
Men and women are borne with different characteristics
It is undeniable that women and men are still different and that we are borne with different characteristics. While one gender is better in task A, the other gender is better in task B on average.
Thus, making everything equal may not serve humanity quite a lot since we may not be able to work in the professions we are best in.
Hence, feminism may also do us a disservice by promoting certain jobs to women that might simply not be suitable for them.
Women get a certain attitude
Even though the increasing level of confidence of women that can be attributed to the feminist movement can be considered a good thing, excessive levels of confidence may lead to a certain attitude of women that might be considered to be a little bit over the top and may do more harm than good for our society in the long run.
More career women means fewer children
If more women pursue a corporate career, chances are that this might lead to a lower number of children in our society. Moreover, the children who are borne may not be taken care of that well if women have to work long hours in demanding jobs.
Hence, feminism can also lead to a state where we will have insufficient numbers of children to keep the system running and where children may also suffer from a lower quality of life since their mothers will have less time to take care of them.
Extreme feminism may also lead to a state where there will be plenty of unnecessary bureaucratic work. A prominent example of this is the complaints regarding our street lights.
Feminism claims that street lights that are currently using a male figure should be switched to gender-neutral traffic lights. There are many other examples around but I think you get the point.
While some things that feminists claim really make sense, others may do no good for our society and may also result in plenty of bureaucratic work.
Even some women think feminism is unnecessary
Even many women out there don’t like feminism at all. Many women think that the feminist movement has taken it too far and that women actually do not need this kind of movement in order to be happy.
Thus, even amongst women, feminism is often a quite controversial topic and it is rather unclear what the majority of our global population really thinks about it.
May not make sense from a historical perspective
Also from a historical perspective, feminism may not make too much sense. While men had always been the hunters, women had the role of taking care of the children over many thousands of years of evolution.
Hence, opponents of feminism often claim that also from an evolutionary standpoint, feminism doesn’t make too much sense.
Long-term effects still rather unclear
Since feminism is a rather recent movement, the long-term effects of this ideology are still rather unclear. Whenever the effects of something are unclear, we should be quite careful not to rely on those concepts in an excessive manner in order to avoid any unpleasant consequences in the future.
Top 10 Feminism Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Feminism Pros||Feminism Cons|
|Can help to achieve equal rights for women||Excessive advantages for women|
|Mitigation of gender inequality||Feminism may lead to frustration for men|
|Introduction of gender quotas||May be regarded as discriminative|
|Feminism can help with better education||Women may get a certain unpleasant attitude|
|Higher level of freedom||Additional bureaucratic work|
|May help to get out of unhappy marriages||Feminism may not be necessary|
|Women may be treated better||Even some women do not like feminism|
|Feminism may help to increase tolerance||Not senseful from historical perspective|
|Better chance for leading roles for women||Fewer children|
|Feminism may lead to higher wages for women||Children may be neglected|
Do We Need Feminism?
We can conclude from the previous discussion that feminism has many important advantages. Yet, feminism also implies many serious problems. In my opinion, the strengthening of the rights of women is generally a good thing.
However, we should be careful not to take it too far since otherwise, men will be discriminated at one point in time and this should not be the goal either.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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