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Modern feminism is not about men, and you’re probably a feminist whether you know it or not

A lot of buzz is circulating around feminism – but what is modern feminism? What does a modern feminist stand for? It’s more simple than you may think.

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thinking woman

thinking woman

It’s not what you think

I’m a feminist, and likely you are, too. Not me, you say. I’m not a man-hating, bra-burning feminist. But alas, you’re probably much closer to being a feminist than you think.

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Feminism has turned into a dirty word, has often been associated with certain political viewpoints, and has even stirred quite a debate in Hollywood about what does and doesn’t qualify as feminism. Contrary to some editorial commentary, feminists are not packs of mean spirited, man-haters who are opposed to anything resembling traditional values.

It’s actually quite the opposite. Modern feminists celebrate the differences in women, embracing the many paths a woman may choose to live, parent, or employ.

The simple definition

To truly understand, one has to remember that women’s rights are a fairly new concept in the United States, and still something women are struggling to achieve worldwide. American women were not looked at as valuable, contributing members of the community until 1920, when they were granted the right to vote with the passing of the 19th Amendment.

Around the world, women are still seeking suffrage, with Saudi Arabia granting voting rights to women for the first time this December.

Clearly, the world needs more advocates for women – so why is being a feminist have such a negative connotation in some circles? It comes down to a dissemination of an incorrect meaning of what feminism is. The true definition of being a feminist is that you think women should have equal rights and opportunities as men. That’s it.

The right to decide what is best for yourself

Many of issues with feminism are far from being resolved politically but what is under discussed is the matter of choice in feminism, particularly outside of the home and in the workplace. Surely, the message of feminism is to work hard, get out of the house, break that glass ceiling. And yes, that’s true… if, and only if, that’s what is what is a woman’s desire.

If a woman doesn’t want to become a CEO and would rather be at home with her children, Godspeed! If a woman would like to work long hours and it’s better for her husband to be at home? Great! If the best scenario for a family is to choose a childcare setting? Bravo.

Modern feminism does not advocate for one size meets all choices in personal or professional life. Feminism lies in the option for a woman to choose what scenario is best for her and her family. And yes, it’s ok for a woman to consult her husband on his opinion, too, and make the decision as a family. Feminism is about choice, and the power to choose.

One does not negate the other

The point of feminism is not to polarize but instead to equalize. To bring women into a role that is equal to her male counterparts in the workplace and in the home. Women are intelligent, opinionated, strong, capable individuals, just like men. Empowering one does not negate the strength of the other.

Amen, sister

So, embrace feminism. Embrace the equality of women, and the right to choose what lifestyle is right for each family. A woman who passes up an opportunity to better her career instead to spend more time at home with her children, because that’s what she wants, should receive as much respect at the woman who chooses to work towards that promotion.

And trust me when I say, most modern feminists would agree with that sentiment.

#Feminism

Megan Noel, a veteran ex-educator with a PhD in Early Childhood Education, enjoys researching life through the eyes of her two young children, while writing about her family’s adventures on IndywithKids.com. With a nearly a decade in small business and marketing, this freelance writer spends most evenings pouring over new ideas and writing articles, while indulging in good food and better wine.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tom

    December 20, 2016 at 10:30 am

    How come feminism doesn’t move women to give what they get in terms of relationships with men and starting the relationships? How come supposed “feminists” can tell me in my face that it is my job as a man to hunt women, and that it is their job to rate me and not to give equally what they take?

    Why are my 5 dating apps inboxes empty every single day? Because women are only talking about what they should get. Not what men should get. They won’t even stop to think about what they could give in a daily basis to men instead of telling men they should give more to women.

    There hasn’t been a single woman in my life except for my first love that has ever asked me what I like to do in my free time, if I have any hobbies..

    Why aren’t women hunting men? Why aren’t women showing men they they should receive attention as well? Why is the first argument against always “well bloke you must be gay then”?

    • Lani Rosales

      December 20, 2016 at 10:39 am

      Interesting points. I would argue that things are shifting, albeit slowly. Especially in an environment of gender and sexual fluidity.

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Opinion Editorials

Facebook fights falsehoods (it’s a false flag)

(EDITORIAL) Facebook has chosen Reuters to monitor its site for false information, but what can one company really do, and why would Facebook only pick one?

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Reuters checks facebook

So Facebook has finally taken a step to making sure fake news doesn’t get spread on it’s platform. Like many a decision from them though, they haven’t been thorough with their venture.

I am a scientifically driven person, I want facts, figures, and evidence to determine what is reality. Technology is a double edged sword in this arena; sure having a camera on every device any person can hold makes it easy to film events, but deepfakes have made even video more questionable.

Many social media platforms have tried to ban deepfakes but others have actually encouraged it. “I’ll believe it when I see it” was the rally cry for the skeptical, but now it doesn’t mean anything. Altering video in realistic ways has destroyed the credibility of the medium, we have to question even what we see with our eyes.

The expansion of the internet has created a tighter communication net for all of humanity to share, but when specific groups want to sway everyone else there isn’t a lot stopping them if they shout louder than the rest.

With the use of bots, and knowing the specifics of a group you want to sway, it’s easy to spread a lie as truth. Considering how much information is known about almost any user on any social media platform, it’s easy to pick targets that don’t question what they see online.

Facebook has been the worst offender in knowing consumer data and what they do with that data. Even if you never post anything political, they know what your affiliation is. If you want to delete that information, it’s hidden in advertising customization.

Part of me is thrilled that Facebook has decided to try and stand against this spread of misinformation, but how they pursued this goal is anything but complete and foolproof.

Reuters is the news organization that Facebook has chosen to fact check the massive amount of posts, photos, and videos that show up on their platform everyday. It makes sense to grab a news organization to verify facts compared to “alternative facts”.

A big problem I have with this is that Reuters is a company, companies exist to make money. Lies sell better than truths. Ask 2007 banks how well lies sell, ask Enron how that business plan worked out, ask the actors from Game of Thrones about that last season.

Since Reuters is a company, some other bigger company could come along, buy them, and change everything, or put in people who let things slide. Even Captain America recognizes this process. “It’s run by people with agendas, and agendas change.” This could either begin pushing falsehoods into Facebook, or destroy Reuters credibility, and bite Facebook in the ass.

If some large group wants to spread misinformation, but can’t do it themselves, why wouldn’t they go after the number one place that people share information?

I really question if Reuters can handle the amount of information flowing through Facebook, remember almost a 3rd of the whole world uses Facebook. 2.45 Billion people will be checked by 25,800 employees at Reuters? I can appreciate their effort, but they will fail.

Why did Facebook only tag one company to handle this monumental task? If you know that many people are using your platform, and such a limited number of people work for the company you tasked with guarding the users, why wouldn’t you tag a dozen companies to tackle that nigh insurmountable number of users?

I think it’s because Facebook just needs that first headline “Facebook fights falsehoods”. That one line gets spread around but the rest of the story is ignored, or not thought about at all. If there is anything Facebook has learned about the spread of fake information on their platform, it’s how to spread it better.

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Opinion Editorials

Will shopping for that luxury item actually lower your quality of life?

(EDITORIAL) Want to buy yourself a pick-me-up? Have you thought of all the ramifications of that purchase? Try to avoid splurging on it.

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shopping bags

In an era of “treat-yo-self,” the urge to splurge is real. It doesn’t help that shopping – or what ends up being closer to impulse shopping – provides us with a hit of dopamine and a fleeting sense of control. Whether your life feels like it’s going downhill or you’ve just had a bad day, buying something you want (or think you want) can seem like an easy fix.

Unfortunately, it might not be so great when it comes to long-term happiness.

As you might have already guessed, purchasing new goods doesn’t fall in line with the minimalism trend that’s been sweeping the globe. Being saddled with a bunch of stuff you don’t need (and don’t even like!) is sure to make your mood dip, especially if the clutter makes it harder to concentrate. Plus, if you’ve got a real spending problem, the ache in your wallet is sure to manifest.

If that seems depressing, I’ve got even more bad news. Researchers at Harvard and Boston College have found yet another way spending can make us more unhappy in the long run: imposter syndrome. It’s that feeling you get when it seems like you’re not as good as your peers and they just haven’t caught on yet. This insecurity often arises in competitive careers, academics and, apparently, shopping.

Now, there’s one big caveat to this idea that purchasing goods will make you feel inferior: it really only applies to luxury goods. I’m talking about things like a Louis Vuitton purse, a top of the line Mercedes Benz, a cast iron skillet from Williams Sonoma (or is that one just me?). The point is, the study found that about 67% of people – regardless of their income – believed their purchase was inauthentic to their “true self.”

And this imposter syndrome even existed when the luxury items were bought on sale.

Does this mean you should avoid making a nice purchase you’ve been saving up for? Not necessarily. One researcher at Cambridge found that people were more likely to report happiness for purchases that fit their personalities. Basically, a die-hard golfer is going to enjoy a new club more than someone who bought the same golf club to try to keep up with their co-workers.

Moral of the story: maybe don’t impulse buy a fancy new Apple watch. Waiting to see if it’s something you really want can save your budget…and your overall happiness.

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Opinion Editorials

How to ask your manager for better work equipment

(EDITORIAL) Old computer got you down? Does it make your job harder? Here’s how to make a case to your manager for new equipment without budget worries.

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better equipment, better work

Aside from bringing the boss coffee and donuts for a month before asking, what is an employee to do when the work equipment bites.

Let’s be frank, working on old, crappy computers with inefficient applications can make the easiest tasks a chore. Yet, what do you do? You know you need better equipment to do your job efficiently, but how to ask the boss without looking like a whiner who wants to blow the department budget.

In her “Ask A Manager” column, Alison Green says an employee should ask for better equipment if it is needed. For example, the employee in her column has to attend meetings, but has no laptop and has to take a ton of notes and then transcribe them. Green says, it’s important to make the case for the benefits of having newer or updated equipment.

The key is showing a ROI. If you know a specific computer would be a decent upgrade, give your supervisor the specific model and cost, along with the expected outcomes. In addition, it may be worth talking to someone from the IT department to see what options might be available – if you’re in a larger company.

IT professionals who commented on Green’s column made a few suggestions. Often because organizations have contracts with specific computer companies or suppliers, talking with IT about what is needed to get the job done and what options are available might make it easier to ask a manager, by saying, “I need a new computer and IT says there are a few options. Here are my three preferences.” A boss is more likely to be receptive and discuss options.

If the budget doesn’t allow for brand new equipment, there might be the option to upgrade the RAM, for example. In a “Workplace” discussion on StackExchange.com an employee explained the boss thinks if you keep a computer clean – no added applications – and maintained it will perform for years. Respondents said, it’s important to make clear the cost-benefit of purchasing updated equipment. Completing a ROI analysis to show how much more efficiently with the work be done may also be useful. Also, explaining to a boss how much might be saved in repair costs could also help an employee get the point across.

Managers may want to take note because, according to results of a Gallup survey, when employees are asked to meet a goal but not given the necessary equipment, credibility is lost.

Gallup says that workgroups that have the most effectively managed materials and equipment tend to have better customer engagement, higher productivity, better safety records and employees that are less likely to jump ship than their peers.

And, no surprise, if a boss presents equipment and says: “Here’s what you get. Deal with it,” employees are less likely to be engaged and pleased than those employees who have a supervisor who provides some improvements and goes to bat to get better equipment when needed.

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