I find it fascinating the vast difference that often grows between a word’s connotation and denotation. Denotation is what the word actually, literally means. A word’s connotation is the idea or emotion that a word provokes in addition to its literal meaning.
Now that we have our grammar lesson out of the way, let’s talk about feminism. Feminism is defined as “advocating for social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men,” or “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” Based on this literal definition, I would venture to say that the vast majority of Americans are “feminist” in that they believe that there should be equality among men and women.*
However, the denotation of feminism has turned this basic concept of equality into a travesty.** What comes to mind when you hear the word feminism? Equal pay for equal work, abortion on demand (aka “reproductive rights”), government mandated childcare/maternity leave, and a belief that women are held down by the “evil patriarchy” are just some of the issues that modern day liberal feminists champion.
Let’s just take one of these issues and compare the denotation of feminism to its connotation. By the end, I think you will agree, it’s time the modern day liberal feminists find a new term for their “movement”.
Emma Watson has been in the news a lot lately and is quickly developing into the a feminist icon. Watson genuinely seems to care about women and insuring that they have equal rights. The problem arose when she spoke out against “sex-specific abortions” that target unborn female babies. Watson made it clear that this kind of discrimination against women is unacceptable.
Did you catch the slight inconsistency there? Watson claims to be a feminist. And by connotation, it’s almost a requirement to be supportive of Planned Parenthood’s atrocities if one wants to join the “feminist club”. However, by denotation, Watson apparently realizes that “sex-specific” abortions are discrimination against women and murder of unborn females.
As a feminist in the denotative sense, a person would have to believe that all women should have equal rights. In that denotative sense, according to settled science, that would include unborn female babies. Babies that science has proven are able to learn while still inside the womb. Babies that science has proven are able to feel pain while still inside the womb. Babies that science has proven are able to survive after only 24 weeks in the womb. And that number is constantly getting lower because of advances in medicine.
However, very few feminists are actually “feminists” in the denotative sense of the word. The connotation of feminism has taken over and destroyed many women’s ability to see what is right in front of their face. The connotation of feminism completely ignores the plight of the unborn female. In fact, ironically, the connotation of feminism openly and loudly advocates for the destruction of the rights of unborn women.
They are women too. Not just a “blob of tissue”. Not just a ““fetus”. They are not a “choice”. They are women. They are deserving of every right that every other woman deserves.
Using the denotation of the word, no one can be pro-abortion and a feminist. Therefore Emma Watson, you are no feminist. This is the real war against women and it’s being waged almost exclusively by the liberal left.
Celebrities are entitled to their own opinions. However, they have an influence that goes beyond what your average, everyday individual possess. That influence carries with it a tremendous amount of responsibility. I hope and pray it’s a responsibility that celebrities like Emma Watson will begin taking seriously.
*The discussion of equal rights and responsibilities versus equal outcomes versus “equal but different” is another topic for another time.
**Note: There are many different “brands” of feminism and this article does not attempt to tackle all those minute details. Instead it is dealing with the mainstream concept of liberal feminism promoted by individuals like Amy Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and obviously Emma Watson, etc.