Feminism in the eyes of a Feminist The third month of the year, March, is dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements throughout history. Though historically women were very much oppressed, and treated as secondary to men (which still persists in some backward parts of the world) , many women have accomplished feats of intelligence, of kindness, of bravery, which all humans, not just women, should be proud of. In doing so, they have given further proof to what should be taken as obvious, that women should be given access to their full rights as a citizen (note: not privilege – equality is our right). Famous women who have made famous accomplishments include the poet Sappho, c.630 BCE, Boudicca, c. 60 CE, Florence Nightingale, 1820 – 1910, and Jane Austen 1777 – 1817.

The belief that women should have equal rights was named by a French philosopher and Utopian Socialist, Charles Fourier, in 1837. He coined the word “feminism”, which, even now, is a word in almost everyone’s repertoire, (however people may choose to refer to it. Lately, feminism has been seen as a movement focused on the regression of men’s rights, and feminists have been said to be anti-men. People even call feminism the “second f-word”. This, of course is ridiculous, and the moment when all people accept that it is stupid will be a joyous occasion for many rational people in the world.

Throughout the years, there has much reading material centred around feminism, such as Mary Wollstonecraft’s “The Vindication of the Rights of Woman” (published in 1792), and even the original Beauty and the Beast, written by a French authoress around the mid-eighteenth century, which is going to be adapted into another film, starring Emma Watson. According to a professor, Paul Young, on the French literature of the 17th and 18th centuries, the protagonist was “reflective (and) intelligent” which “wasn’t seen in French literature or French literature at the time”. Another famous feminist film (which has been nominated for an Oscar Award) is “Hidden Figures” which tells the story of three black women who were behind the brilliance of America’s advancements in Space.

In short, it is my belief, as well as the belief of many people in the world, that women should be given the same opportunities of progression as men. It is also my belief that everyone is a feminist, whether or not they choose to class themselves as one.

Amrita Bhattacharyya