What is Feminism?
The primary goal of feminism is to advocate for women’s rights by championing equality between the sexes.
The feminist movement (also known as the women’s movement, or simply feminism) refers to a series of political campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women’s suffrage, sexual harassment, and sexual violence, all of which fall under the label of feminism and the feminist movement.— Wikipedia
Our desired role in the feminist movement is to add a new perspective to the conversation about equality through cartoons and other resources.
Feminist issues we cover in our cartoons
The feminist movement is broad, and covers all aspects of inequity that women face.
Our comics attempt to provoke thought, understanding, and action – our hope is to promote tolerance and equity through knowledge. And, where appropriate, we attempt to paint these issues in a new light by poking fun at them.
Here are a few of the key issues that we cover with our cartoons… You can use this to skip to a section to learn more.
- Catch 22 for Women (Snatch-22)
- Double Standards
- The Double Burden for Working Moms
- Toxic Masculinity and Femininity
- Problems with Gender Boxes
- Gender Bias
Catch-22 (aka Snatch-22)
Snatch-22 is our feminist spin on “Catch-22”, a concept which derives from the book of that name by Joseph Heller.
Catch-22s arise from arbitrary rules that an individual must conform to, but has no control over. These create a dilemma, or painful circumstances, from which, and this outcome is inevitable, there can be no escape.
Society’s vulnerable have always been the victims of catch-22 situations.
For example, for the homeless, a catch-22 is that they cannot get a bank account without an address. But they cannot afford to get an address without a bank account to deposit funds into.
Women are too often the victims of catch-22, with one of the more horrific being the brutal trial by ordeal accused witches were subjected to: If she survived, then she was guilty and had to die. But, if the ordeal killed her, she was innocent and did not have to die.
A contemporary example is to be found in the work environment: A woman has to be nice at work if she wants to be promoted. But the nicer she is the less likely she is to be seen as a serious candidate for promotion.
Facts about Catch-22s:
- Usually involve perverted moral logic combined with ruthless power.
- Allow elites, for their own self-serving ends, to enforce idiotic rules which exploit vulnerable and lower status individuals.
- Embody a system of false values that encourage those on-top to be indifferent to the suffering they have caused.
- Are used both to justify and to conceal the abuse of power behind “society’s rules”.
- Impose on the powerless a lesser existence – an inhumane, inescapable, and unnecessarily difficult way of life.
“As is the case with many original works of art, ‘Catch-22’ is a novel that reminds us once again of all that we have taken for granted in our world and should not, the madness we try not to bother to notice, the deceptions and falsehoods we lack the will to try to distinguish from truth.”— John W. Aldridge
Double standards are one of the key issues in feminism because the fact that men can live by a different set of rules than women creates inequity between the two genders.
In the context of Feminism, double standards mean that women are unfairly treated, humiliated, abused, and discriminated against just for being female.
The double burden of work and family life
Also known as double day, second shift, or double-duty, double burden acknowledges the extra workload that women face as they participate in the workforce, while also carrying the weight of significant amounts of unpaid domestic labor on their shoulders.
Problems with gender boxes
Yes, gender and sex are often related – females tend to exhibit the essentially “feminine” behaviors of their species/culture; while males generally incline towards the “masculine” ones.
But not always!
Science is beginning to realize (1) that an organism’s sex does not define its gender and (2) that gender traits are not binary – instead, they exist on a spectrum of behaviors and roles.
Thus, it is important to understand that sex, sexuality, and gender are:
- Not the same thing.
- Not just binary.
Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, it should be obvious to anyone paying attention that Nature / God adore diversity – not one colour, but a rainbow; not one sound, but a spectrum; not one species, but an exuberant, bewildering, and delightful explosion of life, in so many forms, with a huge variety of ways of existing and reproducing – even within a single species.
We’ve written a deep analysis of problems with society’s traditional understanding of sex, sexuality, and gender.
Toxic Masculinity / Femininity
Toxic masculinity/femininity refers to gender norms that do damage to the individual who practices them, to the people around them, and/or to Society. Numerous studies show that exaggerated versions of the traditional stereotypes of men and women may be toxic both to those who exhibit them and to those they come into contact with, including their family and community.
Gender bias is a form of prejudice for (or against) one gender as versus the other. These biases can appear in many ways, both subtle and obvious.
Here are a few of the many areas in life that gender bias exists, which we shed light on through our cartoons:
Gender Bias in Science
Gender bias in Science has two manifestations: (1) How “scientific studies” have contributed to systemic barriers to equality, and (2) how women have been pushed away from STEM roles.
These two issues are not mutually exclusive …
We’ve written an in-depth resource on Gender Bias in Science.
Gender Bias in Religion
Religious gender biases are probably the oldest issue of inequality that women face.
Whether it’s the religious leadership roles that men vs. women have access to, or the implications that religion has for women – from how they must behave (be in submission to men), to control over their own bodies (abortion and contraception are a sin), to how they may think (suffer not a woman to teach; the man is the head of the wife) – religion remains one of the last (and strongest) defenders of sexism and dogmas which violate the principles of equality and social justice.
One has to ask: Why is this still tolerated?
Gender Bias in the Arts
Gender bias has had huge implications for women in the arts.
Women have been artists since prehistory – the handprints on cave-paintings are often female – and everything from pottery to weaving to painting, from sewing to leather work to jewelry, from cooking to music to dance, can be attributed to the hand of woman.
And through every era since, despite Society’s male oriented rules barring them from (1) training, (2) joining the artistic academies or guilds, (3) practicing / performing their craft, (4) putting their name on their work, or (5) displaying or selling it, great numbers of women have left a remarkable artistic legacy which is largely unremarked by scholars of art. Even today, women are dramatically underrepresented and undervalued in museums and galleries:
Learn more about gender equality in the arts, with facts and figures