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  • Aikaterina Karageorgiadi

The Start of Feminism

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

Feminism is a movement fighting a range of social matters, beliefs and ideologies about the rights of women with the objective of equalising the genders. Throughout recent history, the feminist movement has become more and more noticed, understood, and recognised. Some issues including the pay gap, abortion rights, and the pink tax, have led to the movement being increasingly active in recent years.

A few notable feminists who began feminist resistance in America include Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony.


1793: Lucretia Mott is born in Nantucket, Massachusetts. 1815: Elizabeth Cady Stanton is born in Johnston, New York.

1840: Mott and Stanton meet at the World Anti-Slavery Convention and realise their shared frustration about women's lack of social rights and the exclusion of women from politics. These women met at Stanton’s honeymoon while attending a World’s Anti-Slavery convention. They shared the same frustration about the exclusion of women from political matters and social rights. 1848: Mott and Stanton held the Seneca Convention, a women's rights convention in New York. Their main objectives included allowing married women the right to divorce, and ending slavery. 1851: Stanton is introduced to Susan B. Anthony by Amelia Bloomer, a mutual friend, and advocate for women's rights. 1865: Stanton and Anthony submit the first women's suffrage petition directed to Congress during the drafting of the Fourteenth Amendment. When their petition fails to be recognised, Stanton runs for Congress and fails to be elected, but successfully sparks a discussion on women in politics. 1880: Mott dies of pneumonia in her Pennsylvania home. 1902: Stanton dies in New York City, leaving behind an extensive legacy and several organisations including the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

Throughout their lives, Stanton and Mott kept fighting for their movement through the years, got involved and helped in many other movements, and met many people that helped them with theirs. In the 20th century, Oxford English Dictionary confirms that the term “feminist” appeared in their dictionary for the first time in the late 1800s. Yet still, in the early 20th century, the meaning of the term was misunderstood.

Common Misconceptions about Feminism

  • Feminists believe that all forms of masculinity are toxic

Feminism is not, at its' core, about hating men. The precise definition is ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equal of the sexes.’ It, therefore, is a subsection of egalitarianism (equal rights for all).

  • Only women can be feminists

Men can be feminists as well since, by definition, anyone who supports equal rights for women is a feminist.

  • Feminists are a stuck-up, crazy, and sensitive bunch

People often think of this movement as violent and fanatic, picturing a menagerie of shirtless women running in groups on the street. The adverb ‘hysterical’ is often used to describe women believing in this movement. The truth is that only a small percentage of self-described 'feminists' are actually fanatics.

  • Feminists can only be career-oriented

While feminist women can be primarily career-oriented, this is not always the case. As a feminist, you can have a 9 to 5 work schedule with no intention of having children, or you can be a traditional housewife with 4 beautiful babies and a hardworking spouse. In both instances, you may consider yourself a feminist.

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