I used to think that maybe if the word was not Feminism itself, people would have had a more open mind towards accepting the idea or to understand the concept of it. My thought was based on the thought process that Feminism has been derived from Feminine, which is originated from Female.
Recently, while watching Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 4, when Daenerys enters the battle field mounting her dragon, I was in awe with the strong female presence this character shows, influencing the entire battle. I was thinking how just a few scenes ago she showed her feminine side while discussing Grey Worm with Missandei. When it suddenly hit me, that she, a female has both the qualities, masculine and feminine. Duh!
The word male has been derived from the Old French word masle. Female, on the other hand, has been derived from the Old French word femelle and Latin slang femela. If some people still say that female is derived from the word male, I would like to see Female as an attempt to reinforce Male with an additional layer of emotionally galvanized Fe(Iron) 😉
Since these words came into existence, strength, toughness, hardness etc. which have been seen as insignia of males, are identified as masculine. Whereas fluidity, beauty, intricacy, and qualities which have been labelled as an insignia of females are identified as feminine. The qualities were labelled as per to where they thought were more prominent.
Times change, definition change, we change.
Still, feminine is originated from the word female, yes. Which means the qualities more associated with females are called feminine, is true. But given the categories of quality divided into masculine and feminine, equality aligns more with femininity, as compared to masculinity which would align more to maybe domination, or to a scenario like law of the jungle.
That makes more sense when we ask ourselves why the equality of both genders is called Feminism and not anything else.