Helping Learners Understand Spoken English

Feminism Discussion and Vocabulary

Feminism has always been a hot topic. Unfortunately, there are many misunderstandings related to feminism. Thus, it is often a sensitive topic to discuss.

Discussing feminism can be challenging due to strong opinions. However, when done respectfully and with the goal of understanding each other, it is possible to find common ground. If you do decide to discuss this topic, do so with an open heart.

No matter which side of the issue you are on, the goal is understanding. Others are able to hear what you are saying when you can express your opinions calmly without attacking the opinions of others.

Additionally, it helps to try to learn as much as you can about the experiences of others. By doing this, you may come to understand the factors that shape their opinions.

common ground: shared interests, beliefs, or opinions; something that people agree about even if they disagree about other things

Useful Vocabulary

When discussing a topic, it is helpful to have vocabulary related to that topic. To help you discuss feminism, here are some basic definitions and words that are often used when having a discussion about feminism.

feminism: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities

feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes

misandry: hatred of men

misogyny: hatred of women

misconception: a wrong or mistaken idea

matriarchy: a system of society or government in which women rule and hold the primary power positions in roles of authority

patriarchy: a system of society or government in which men rule and hold the primary power positions in roles of authority

privilege: a special right or advantage held by a particular person or group; the idea that some people in society have an advantage over others

sexism: prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender, especially against women and girls

stereotype: a widely held, often unfair and untrue, oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing

Related post: 50 Useful Phrases for Discussions in English

Common Misconceptions

Part of the problem related to discussing feminism is with the word feminism itself. The word itself excludes men. However, many feminists do not want to exclude men. In fact, they want to make the world a better place for both men and women.

Can you think of any changes that might improve life for both men and women through greater equality?

Another problem is that when people think of feminism, they think of only the negative things the media spreads about feminists. To read more about this and other reasons for misconceptions, check out 5 Reasons Why So Many People Believe Feminism Hates Men and Why They’re Not True.

There are actually different branches of feminism. If you are interested in learning about the different types, I recommend reading Types of Feminism: The Four Waves.

Related Forbes reading and video: What Is Feminism, And Why Do So Many Women And Men Hate It?

Discussion Questions

  1. Is feminism necessary? Why or why not?
  2. What are some common misconceptions about feminists?
  3. What is the relationship between fear and feminism?
  4. Is equality possible? Why or why not?
  5. What is one action we can take to increase equality?