online etymology dictionary. 1851, "qualities of females;" 1895, "advocacy of women's rights;" from french féminisme (1837); see feminine + -ism. also, in biology, "development of female secondary sexual characteristics ." (1875).
online etymology dictionary. early 14c., from old french femelle "woman, female" (12c.), from medieval latin femella "a female," from latin femella "young female, girl," diminutive of femina "woman" (see feminine). ... sense extended in vulgar latin from young humans to female of other animals, then to females generally.
mid-14c., "of the female sex," from old french femenin (12c.) "feminine, female; with feminine qualities, effeminate," from latin femininus "feminine" (in the grammatical sense at first), from femina "woman, female," literally "she who suckles," from root of felare "to suck, suckle" (see fecund).
except from the "she who suckles", that is, she who conceives, gets pregnant, gives birth and suckles the infant, there is no biological difference between male and female beings. it is a symbiotic relationship the existence of the two. without the one the other does not exist in thought, speech, and deed. the second sexual characteristics, like enlargement of female breasts, man's adam's apple, and hair on face and chest indicate one's gender related maturity of biological nature. this has nothing to do with the state regulated definitions of maturity as minor and adult and legal age to marry. these regulations vary from nation to nation, and time to time. gandhi and kasturba were married at age 13 and 14 respectively, much the same as the girls and boys in the u.s engage in sexual activities soon as their biological urge awakens.
in the modern world the political sociology and natural biology are at odds with each other. so what is prohibited for the humans is an acceptable practice in animal husbandry. they even inseminate females at an age that would correspond with the human teenage. not just that, but even when a female creature does not desire so. that would constitute a surgical rape what they did to a female panda in the china zoo. and the team of rapist scientists included an american woman, who would ideologically support the woman's rights.
there was a million women's march to the nation's capitol to assert the woman's rights on the day the new u.s. president took office. he is described to be against the feminism. one wonders how many of the million women and the president and others who oppose feminism have pondered on the issue: what is feminism as an ideal sought to be recognized in words and what its biological nature determines in deed.
the problem does not originate in the gender difference nor is it of sexual nature. the teenage girl easily breaks off sexual relations with one boy to team up with another boy, compared to a woman of her mother's age getting a divorce. the problem is of the capitalist nature of ownership. there was a time before the divorce became legal, when women and servants were considered man's household possessions. it was the notion of ownership that in the marriage ceremony was transferred from father to the bridegroom. now the priest performing the transfer ceremony does not :say:"who gives away the bride?" and the father says, "i." but the idea remains the same. in the man's eyes the woman is still his property. man will fight and kill, not actually to protect the woman, but her as his property. helen of troy and sita of ramayana, the two female characters of the epics were the victims of the prevailing culture of ownership. those two epics writers did not even muse with the idea that these two women might have wished to leave, without being forcibly kidnapped. especially in the case of sita, the wife of gandhi's hero king rama, she was required to pass the 'fire test' of purity just to prove to his subjects that she was not sexually abused by the kidnapper. being humiliated she killed herself.
regardless of the legal or hidden notion of ownership, in biological terms women do feel drawn to other men who are not their husbands, and men to other women who are not their wives. and time, place and circumstance permitting, they do have fleeting or long term extramarital affairs.
unintentionally, the commerce controlled capitalism has helped promote changes in the culture. cohabiting is already on rise, which negates the ownership of the sexual aspects of female gender. with the multiple marriages, the children, too, are growing up with men and women who are not their biological parents. and in the school and work place children and adults are put together unlike what was a taboo to intermingle with anyone outside of the clan members.
what is not readily accepted by men in habit of being the head of the house is the equal intellectual rights. so women are not given equal pay. but it is not just the women who are earning less than men, the blacks and people of colour also are not treated equal in the work situation. in demanding equality women folks, too, need to evolve to observe that rather than the gender it is human right issue. the solution of inequality is not asking for more pay to be equal, but helping men folks to abolish the very notion of work for pay. there is the cognizance, that regardless of ideological status of being human, no person has ever escaped from being a member of a biological species called homo sapiens. even if the technological advancement will in near future land men on moon to establish human colony, people there will still have to breathe oxygen and drink water and eat food as they do on earth. and in an inhospitable atmosphere the life there would be more confining within the earth-like enclosures.
the ideological feminism, too, would feel more confining when what is required by the ideology comes in conflict with the natural biological desires of being female. this is already happening. women who pursue the status in the gender equal society are missing out the prime time of being biological female. the delayed child bearing is not without the adverse consequences, not only for the mother, but it also affects the children's physical and emotional health. it is the reason, why in animal husbandry older animals are not used.
then there is the commerce factor interfering with what constitutes a female and the concept of feminism. the modern woman is made to compete with her mirror image in looking like the latest version of what constitutes a woman. and the commerce sector has provided her with the ever increasing array of lotions and potions and even surgical means to fit her mirror image with the described beauty. the fabled mirror truthfully showed what was before it. and the queen, unadorned was most beautiful until the snow white girl reached the age seven. from then on the queen struggled to regain her status as the beauty queen. for the modern woman that snow white is the fashion model adorned with the various beauty products and special effects of the camera to entice the modern woman to acquire all that the model wears in order to look like her.
in all likelihood, none of the marching million women carried a banner or vocalized the thought, that they should also include the fashion industry in the list of items to protest against. men like to accompany their dressed up women to show off their possessions. and women like to dress up to look better than other women. in either case, it is a denial of their nature given physical female form. isolated, there are some women who wear no makeup, and dress befitting the weather and work. regardless of their age they depict the natural beauty, whether as little girls, young women or new mothers or great grandmothers. george bernard shaw's obsevation of the socialite english women does not apply to them, as he had said, that 'a woman's age begins at sixteen, then seventeen, then eighteen, then nineteen, then nineteen, then nineteen.... ' and the commerce sector sells the idea, that with the use of their products, women can stay young and beautiful forever. the romance novels and their movie screen adoptions are made for these women. so usually, these novels and movies end with the 'and they happily lived ever after.' no old age full of every form of ill effects caused by the physical and mental abuses that were promoted as healthful female being.
the nature given existence as female, and for that matter, even of male is functional. in this regard, humans can be no different from the other mammals. both the female and male seek out each other motivated by the natural urge, just as the teenagers in the free world do. at other times, both the females and males may be doing other things in close proximity of each other without the slightest desire even to touch. but when people are herded together, and are assigned fixed roles to play, including the sexual kind, by the time boys and girls reaching high school are already learning to play roles. only then the commerce sector can secure their sale of the bedroom products.
why is it so difficult to accept the nature given physical state of being? when one accepts that, by itself, one is free from the state of mind created by the "what if", the fear factor, the fear of being left out, rejected, denied. the sense of insecurity that makes one to pretend, falsify, makeup and do everything in order to be liked makes an actor out of a real person, and in effect try to live in a make believe world. when acting is done outside of the stage, the whole world becomes a stage. that is illusion, maya, that appears to be real, like the water in the mirage. it cannot quench the thirst. that is why, despite the great successful careers, actors experience no happiness in real life.