Postcard-style image to celebrate March 8th, International Women's Day
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Feminism: equality movement or male-bashing crusade?

There's the saying 'a woman has to work twice as hard to get half the recognition her male colleagues get'. That's what feminists are out to correct.

March 8th marks International Women's Day 2018.

Who is a feminist?

If you ask a man whose idea of a good wife is a 'submissive' woman who abandons her career to take care of her family, he'll probably say a feminist is a woman who is overly aggressive, disrespectful towards men and 'doesn't know her place' in society.

If you ask a feminist herself what the movement is about, she will tell you it is about closing the gender gap – pushing for equality and equity for women at work and in society in general.

But just as much as there are men who believe feminism is a movement out to attack them, there is a group of men who believe in the cause and are subtly or aggressively pushing for equity.

And in the same breath, there are women who are against feminism and believe that a woman's role is to be seen and not heard.

The fact is, different people interpret feminism differently. We talked to 4 people about what feminism means to them.
 

'I wouldn't classify myself as a feminist. But that's not to say that I believe in women being passive participants in the society. The issue I have with many feminists I've met is that they've turned into man bashers and haters, all in the guise of being feminists. When they go to a restaurant and a man picks the bill, they get offended because "I'm an independent woman who can pay her own bill without a man's help". Come on, a man picking the bill is just courtesy and chivalry, not an attempt to trample over a woman. I'm neutral.'

Valerie, 27

'I think the feminist movement is a good one. I work in the media and it's pretty male-dominated, especially at the top. It's unfair that women are relegated to 'soft' departments like features, while men get to do the hottest stories like politics because people think women are "too dainty" to go out into the field and do hard stories. The pay difference is not fair either. If being a feminist means fighting for what you deserve in terms of pay and opportunities, then hell yeah, I'm a feminist man.'

Josh, 26

'I'm not a feminist. To me, feminists are trying to compete with men and prove that they can do anything a man can. But that's not possible. We are different in every aspect – from biological to how we think and process things. If your car gets a puncture, why do you want to struggle to change the tyre in your heels, yet you can call for an emergency rescue? Why do some women insist on wearing power suits so there is no distinction between them and men? Be a woman, be feminine, not hard-core feminist hating men.'

Alice, 45

'I am a feminist. It is unfortunate to see that in this day and age, women still get paid less than men for equal work. It's also unfair that women are discriminated against and made to choose between their careers and motherhood. They miss out on opportunities when they go on maternity leave and have to overcome many challenges. Feminism is just about ensuring equality.'

Bianca, 33


Are you a feminist, or do you have questions about feminism? Leave a comment or question below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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