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In the eighteenth century, feminist and enlightenment philosopher, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote that "I do not wish [women] to have power over men, but over themselves." This sentiment summarizes much of the feminist cause.

While some people who identify as feminists hate men, this is not actually part of feminism. Feminism is about women's empowerment. Throughout history and across many cultures, societal power structures have placed women in subservient roles. This is often referred to as patriarchy. Feminism aims to correct this and empower women to take an equal station in society.

Many men feel threatened by this. It is often difficult to understand that you are in a position of privilege when your very society is structured in such a way to support that privilege. Much of this is subtle and invisible because it has been in place for so long. Some men may feel that feminism is anti-men because they see women gaining power as an erosion of their own power. They cannot imagine giving up some of this privilege without being subjected to abuse as well. However, this is not the aim of the majority of feminists. Rather, feminism strives to create a world in which women stand alongside men as equals and that they have the same freedom of choice as men do.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 1, 2020
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