Advertising
Advertising

This Is Why We Need Feminism

This Is Why We Need Feminism

Feminism is not about hating men at all, as Emma Watson so powerfully said in her speech at the UN in support of the ‘HeForShe’ campaign. It is about a basic human right: the equality of men and women. As we all know, the reality is painfully different. This is why we need feminism.

Only about 135,000 men from all over the world have signed the pledge to help make changes happen so that women and girls no longer face discrimination. Yes, I have signed. Have you? Here is the link to the pledge. We have a long way to go!

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive, both men and women should feel free to be strong.” -Emma Watson

What’s wrong with our society? We are gender obsessed. From the moment we are born, we are expected (and indeed forced) into a stereotypical role in line with our sex. Blue for a boy, pink for a girl. It starts early, and even earlier for those who insist on knowing what the gender of their little baby will be.

Advertising

BqgH72hCcAEH028

    Miss America gets the prize!

    Let me give you a few other examples of our sexist and anti-feminist society. Look at the Miss America beauty contest and the thousands of others around the world, based on the same old formula, since 1921. That is nearly a century! The Miss America slogan is “style, service, scholarship and success.”

    As we all know, the reality is totally different. Why would you test a person’s knowledge, sensitivity, social commitment and intelligence by asking her to walk around on a stage half-naked? Why would you ask her the most tortuous question and expect an answer in 20 seconds? Why limit the entrants to those who have never been pregnant or never have had children? The view of a woman’s role in society is still distorted and wrong.

    Can you imagine testing a man’s knowledge and management skills by asking him to strut around in his underwear?

    Advertising

    Share this post as soon as you finish reading

    Feminism is important. Here are several more examples why we need feminism:

    • Blatant sexism permeates economic, social and economic life
    • Women want to be called strong, not bitchy
    • Women should never need to apologize for their success
    • Urgent need to accept people of all genders and identities
    • Women do not need to be told how to live their life
    • We need to get rid of hypocrisy and double standards when talking about women
    • We need to erase the gender binary
    • Men who are called feminists should not be mocked
    • One day, the word feminism will become obsolete.

    Women and men in running the home

    We still have a long way to go to get rid of the idea that running a small family unit and rearing kids is for women only. If a woman chooses to work outside the home, she still is often assumed to have to do all the housework, or most of it! There are still very few stay-at-home dads.

    pornforwomen

      The solution? We could have more paternity leave and government-funded childcare. Equal pay would be excellent. It seems that these are pretty normal in Sweden, but still a long way off in the USA and Europe. Now Sweden is not on another planet, or is it?

      Advertising

      The media is rife with sexist language and propaganda

      “No one can make you inferior without your permission.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

      The media should be leading the way towards a more tolerant society in which the sexes become equal. But, again, it seems like a mirage in the desert. Just look at the sexist language and stereotypes we are subjected to every day:

      • Women can only be skinny
      • The average UK woman worries about her body image every 15 minutes (because they have been bombarded with sexist and fat-shaming propaganda in advertising)
      • Darker skinned women must get a paler complexion
      • Female nudity is used to sell tabloid newspapers in the UK. No paper prints photos of male attributes (yet!)
      • Men are often portrayed as being dumb and incompetent on many sitcom shows, showing the sexism is not all one way.
      • Some men are portrayed as fat in family sitcoms, while the wife is always skinny and sexy.
      • Smart people are usually male, while females are dumb but always attractive.
      • No prizes for guessing what the majority sex is when words like paranoid, humourless, selfish, man-hating, butch, and aggressive are used in the media.

      If you want change to happen, make sure you sign up to Endangered Bodies, a global initiative to stop advertisers sending women messages which make them hate their bodies. Just another reason why we still need feminism.

      Violence against women

      The overwhelming majority of female homicides are carried out by male partners. In the UK, 54% of female murder victims were killed by their partner, ex-partner or lover. Figures from around the globe are equally harrowing. Resorting to firearms is not the answer, as this report shows.

      Advertising

      Why we still need feminism

      As you can see from all the examples above, we still need feminism to ensure that the war for equal rights among the sexes is won. The battle is being fought on these fronts:

      • Eliminate the pay gap of 23% between men and women
      • End FGM (female genital mutilation), which prevents women from fully enjoying sex. It is still practised in 29 countries
      • No longer assume a women has to take the man’s surname in marriage or civil partnerships
      • Stop justifying rape on how a woman is dressed

      Once there is full equality in political, economic and social life, there will be no need for the word ‘feminism’. It will simply become obsolete. As we are nowhere near this Utopia, this is why we sill need feminism.

      Featured photo credit: I need feminism because…../Leeds College of Music via flickr.com

      More by this author

      Robert Locke

      Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

      10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 10 Simple Morning Exercises to Make You Feel Great All Day What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart 10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And How to Be Motivated)

      Trending in Communication

      1 How to Overcome Trust Issues in a Relationship (And Learn to Love Again) 2 How to Use the Law of Attraction to Make Your Dreams Happen 3 10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively 4 How To Be Happy Alone and Enjoy Life 5 What Is Self-Worth and How to Recognize Yours

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on April 6, 2020

      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

      Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

      Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

      Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

      So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

      1. Be Authentic

      To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

      Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

      Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

      Advertising

      2. Listen

      Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

      To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

      Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

      Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

      3. Become an Expert

      Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

      You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

      4. Lead with Story

      From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

      Advertising

      If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

      5. Lead by Example

      It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

      ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

      We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

      6. Catch People Doing Good

      A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

      Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

      7. Be Effusive with Praise

      It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

      Advertising

      Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

      8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

      I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

      The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

      If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

      9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

      The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

      The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

      If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

      Advertising

      10. Understand Your Lane

      If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

      Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

      You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

      Final Thoughts

      Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

      It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

      More Tips About Making Influence

      Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

      Read Next