BEIRUT: “Women can be sexist as much as some men can be, and many men do support an alternate vision of a society, a society where the education and the environment are equality-friendly,” noted feminist activist Hayat Mirshad.
Inspired by French poet Louis Aragon’s quote “The man’s future is a woman,” the Joumana Haddad Freedoms Center hosted a talk with Hayat Mirshad on January 23, questioning if “women are the future of men.”
“Women strongly believing in patriarchy consider men as the center of power, exactly like brain-washed adherents to specific ideologies, who idolize their leaders,” explained Mirshad. “Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights, so it is generally provoked by women to other women, that’s why I completely disagree with Aragon. A woman doesn’t emanate from a man. She is a separate individual."
The event’s host and women’s activist Joumana Haddad highlighted that “the discussion around feminism is first and foremost a humane discussion, and it simultaneously concerns men and women.”
Feminism principles refuse injustice and build on intersectionality. Accordingly, many feminists are portrayed as radicalists, in what became known as “feminazis,” a derogatory attribute labeling women who shut down their debate opponents, in authoritarian ways.
The term “feminazi” originated in the 90s with radio host Rush Limbaugh, who used it to describe “a feminist to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur.”
“I see the term ‘radicalist’ as a beautiful description of feminism. It means we can strongly fight for our rights, despite the tough impediments,” said Mirshad. “Feminism is not only a fight for women’s rights but marginalized people’s rights, the LGBTQ community rights, migrant domestic workers’ rights under Kafala system, as well. It is a battle against a suppressive patriarchal structure that has lead to an imbalance between men and women.”
Sexism, in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is all “behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.”
Mirshad highlighted that sexists can’t admit a woman’s eligibility to decide or act, and highlighted that “Lebanon’s feminism movements were born in the womb of struggle and people tend to forget what came before, so they fail to recognize global feminism upsurge, patterns, and movements’ power.”
“Our ultimate goal should be reaching gender equality by reducing male privileges. This doesn’t allude to men’s elimination, as pictured by patriarchy,” affirmed the speaker. “It is crucial to educate men and women as well, on feminist issues and human rights, to widen knowledge horizons."
Welcome to “NAYA," the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. NAYA is devoted to women of all generations-NAYA Editor, Sally Farhat: Sally.firstname.lastname@example.org
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