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Celebrating women all over the globe

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | Opinion | March 15th, 2010



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Women from all walks of life have primarily sought one simple thing.

To exist in a world where equality holds the same importance factor when compared to a man.

Time and time again women have found creative ways to over come barriers that have stood in their way ensuring the women who come after them will have more time to enjoy being a woman rather than fighting at being one.

International Woman's Day was celebrated around the globe on March 8.

Today there are more female run organizations worldwide than women ever predicted we would have.

For years women have been actively fighting for their rights to be equal to men and have come a long way since their ideas erupted over equality between the sexes.

The following are the top five feminist movements that have helped to shape a female's present day.

1. Anti-slavery and temperance movements were the first seeds of feminism and occurred in the mid 1800s. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott started this movement in 1840, following an incident where they were both denied seats at the World Anti-slavery convention in London simply because of their gender.

In 1848 the women were able to organize an event called the Seneca Falls Convention, which was aimed at outlining the need for equality between the sexes.

2. The woman's Liberation Movement-Following WW II, a growing number of women pursued higher educations and entered into post-secondary institutions for a better future. Beginning in the late 60s and early 70s, women pushed for fundamental aspects of what it meant to be a female in this world at that particular time. The women were most interested in domesticity, employment, education and sexuality. In 1966 Betty Friedman along with fellow feminists formed a national organization for women that at present day is referred to as NOW. Years later it became the umbrella organization for many feminist causes which united college educated, and in particular white women. The aim was to also reduce violence put forth toward women and in 1968; the first national feminist conference took place in Chicago.

3. Black feminism - The liberation movement was criticized by both black and white women primarily because it did not, at that time, include many black women. According to the movement of that time, the shift was unintentional, but as a result spurred interest with black women. The shift caused these women to form their own organization and was known as the national black feminist organization and the national alliance of black feminists.

4. The feminist sex wars - During the late 70s anti-porn feminism peeked interest with some women and was pioneered by Catherine Mackinnon and Andrea Dworkin. According to their anti-porn theory, heterosexual intercourse is a form of male domination and must be totally altered so as to not hurt women. This particular notion did not sit too well with other feminists who in fact believe that a woman's total liberation included sexual freedom - just as men. Women who consent to intercourse should be allotted the same pleasure as a man - according to the feminists who were against the anti-porn organization. So women such as Betty Dodson and Gayle Rubin sought to reclaim heterosexual intercourse as mutually pleasurable for both men and women. Sex positive feminism considers the sex industry work as a means of empowerment, not degradation.

5. Riot Grrls-Punk rockers in Olympia and Washington D.C. blended music, art and consciousness-raising into a reformulated brand of feminism - as they like to put it. It was during the 90s Riot Grrls formed their own bands while making homemade magazines that were distributed to the public. The women held weekly meetings in order to discuss relevant issues such as rape, racism and over all body image. The movement does still exist and circulates all over the world.

Feminist movements are not necessarily groups or committees of women who discriminate against men or belittle their worth. Feminist organizations worldwide seek fairness between the sexes and equality for all.

International Men's Day is celebrated November 19, in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Australia, India, United States, Singapore, Malta, South Africa, Hungary, Ireland, Ghana and Canada. This holiday is to focus on men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, highly promoting gender equality between the sexes and showcasing positive role models in the community.

It is also an opportunity to highlight discrimination that is placed on them and to acknowledge their contributions to their communities, family, and marriage and over all self-image.
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