The Need for Militant Feminism Essay

Submitted By Emmeko1
Words: 1692
Pages: 7

The Need for Militant Feminism
The Feminist Movement was what helped women reach equal rights to men; to reach equality with men was the goal that was met. These women wrote about how they wanted more and how they planned to achieve it. They wrote about the inequalities they felt that they faced being women. Women were tired of being overlooked and not taken seriously. This discrimination against women was universal. They write about similar frustrations even across cultural boundaries. Even with the extreme differences in culture from Egyptian to the Americas women were facing similar problems. In each culture women were being told what to wear, how to act, how they should have their bodies shaped, and in some extreme cases looked upon as useless or subhuman in their own society. Yet, writing alone did not ignite this movement. Writing and education alone would never cause a widespread change. It did not matter how educated these women are; they would not be listened to unless they used more action instead of just words. No matter how educated and vocal women were about their rights their words fell on for the majority deaf ears. If women want their rights they need to be more aggressive as words had not been motivating the men in power to give them any. Both Qio Jin and Bahithat al-Baydiy tried addressing their fellow country women through their writings and educating their gender on the injustices they faced as women. What was needed to bring feminism to the attention of men however was more of what Emmeline Pankhurt wrote about which was a more active approach to feminism called militant feminism.
Women activists for feminism had been trying for years to convince other women to realize that they should not be treated certain ways and that they should be unhappy with the way that they are treated through writing. One of the main topics that women who argued for feminism liked to bring up was the torture and abuse they were to put their bodies through to be considered wanted. In China where it was almost a horrible curse to be a woman Qiu Jin writes that “he forcibly binds his daughter's soft, white feet with white cloth so that even in her sleep she cannot find comfort and relief until the flesh becomes rotten and the bones broken.” The he in that quote being the girl’s father. This was a common practice in Asia and Qiu Jin writes about how horrific it really is. She also expresses her frustrations about why she feels that the foot binding practice is ridiculous adding “What is all this misery for? Is it just so that on the girl's wedding day friends and neighbors will compliment him, saying, "Your daughter's feet are really small"? Is that what the pain is for?”.” Another popular thing that women felt that they needed to do to be considered wanted was have a perfect hourglass figure. Which they acquired by wearing corset; corsets while not having as bad as an effect on the body as the foot binding practice did was still incredibly painful and destructive to the body. In Egypt where women are required to be veiled, Bahithat al-Baydiya compared wearing the veils to suffocating. Another topic that Qiu Jin tried to stress to women was how being a female in Chinese society seemed to be no more than a curse. Along with the foot binding practices that the Chinese did to their female children, female children were generally considered useless by their families and given away as soon as they could through marriage. “When the time for marriage comes, a girl's future life is placed in the hands of a couple of shameless matchmak­ers and a family seeking rich and powerful in-laws. A match can be made without anyone ever inquiring whether the prospective bridegroom is honest, kind, or educated.” If the woman is lucky enough to have a husband who does not abuse her then she should be grateful for her good marriage. Yet, if the man is abusive then she is getting “retribution for some sin committed in her previous existence.”