Obviously feminism advocates equal rights and opportunities for women. Some say we have accomplished those goals, some say they have yet to be accomplished.
I think they have yet to be accomplished. Women still make less money than men doing the same damn jobs, and the social pressure to be feminine is still there.
However, there's one aspect of feminism that makes the waters kind of muddy. And that is the exaltation of "masculine" over "feminine." In the past, feminism has made it clear that girls can be masculine and should be allowed to without social pressures. OK, as a woman who has more "masculine" tendencies than "feminine" ones, I'm down with that. I kick ass, I belch, I wear jeans and black t-shirts, etc... in a lot of ways I'm what feminists would call an "empowered woman." However, is masculinity really more desireable than femininity? Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, I wonder. This has never been a problem for me before, but it is now. I feel like if the general public applauds my decision to focus on childrearing as a career, they are being chauvanistic. Why is that? Staying at home with my child is a perfectly feminist move for me, because it's the kind of job that makes me feel empowered and independent. However this is considered "feminine" and therefore "inferior" in the eyes of society.
What I mean by that is, girls who are "one of the guys" are often admired, while girls who are "one of the girls" are not. Girls who are ambitious or leaders are admired, while girls in a supportive role are not. And what about guys? Macho guys are still admired, but if a guy wants to do cheerleading or stay home with the kids, he is often ostracized for it. That's because masculinity is still exalted in society.
The next step in feminism, in my opinion, is the equaling out of both masculinity and femininity. And this cannot be accomplished by women alone. Guys also need to stand up for their right to do whatever interests them, whether or not it makes a lot of money or is traditionally "masculine." The gay movement is actually helping us accomplish this, because it's slowly becoming more acceptable for guys to act "girly" and for girls to act "butch."
What do you think?