In the first article by Jessica Valenti, she describes feminism by the dictionary definition of: “Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. The movement organized this belief.” While in the second article Bell hooks defines feminism by, “Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” Based on the two definitions it can be said that the similarities are that they both want to move away from patriarchal oppression believing in equality in the sexes. While similar, they still have a slight difference in being that in believing in the equality in the sexes while one specifically wants to end sexism and other forms of oppression done by the patriarchal system.
With that being said, feminism is important to both authors as they both find peace in being a feminist. They find it liberating to know that they must not conform to the ideologies forced upon women that has being implied for centuries. With these implications if not conformed to the views of what society values in being a woman, they then put these women down making belittling them. Not only does it go as far as people not thinking that you aren’t good enough but eventually it takes a tole upon yourself with the constant thinking of not being “pretty” enough, “skinny” enough ect. The fact that feminism was a way for both of them to realize that there was in fact nothing wrong with who they were to begin with, it is why feminism is important to them. Not only did feminism make them feel liberated about being comfortable with being who they are, but also with realizing that they are just as valuable as men. Meaning that they deserve to have the same rights and end patriarchal oppression, with resulting in a world that doesn’t view sexism as a norm in society.
Based on all this information in both articles, my personal definition of a feminist is someone, (key word being ‘someone’ and not just a female), who believes in equality between the sexes, having mutual respect towards individuals regardless of gender, someone who aspires equality for all human beings. My ideas and definition towards feminism has remained the same after reading both articles, as I had an understanding that feminism is about equality of the sexes.
Although something very specific has struck me about the articles I read that I haven’t thought about before. It was found at the very beginning of the first article when Jessica mentions that the worst thing you can call a girl is in fact a girl, while the worst thing you can call a guy is to no surprise a girl. That left me thinking of all the insults ever received or given and realizing how true yet wrong that is. As society in conclusion makes it seem that being a girl is the ultimate insult, yet it makes you wonder why is that the case? What can be so wrong with a certain gender that it lets people use it as the ultimate insult, in both genders.
After doing research on Jessica Valenti, she is known as one of the most successful feminists of this generation which can be shown through the article, I read prior. Along with Bell hooks who is known to be very talented and successful, ending with that both these authors show their success through their work as they are both very passionate about what they advocate.