There’s a huge misconception of feminism and what it is throughout people of all demographics. Women who have been given the right to vote, own property, to serve in the military, have equal pay and have their voices heard because of feminists condemn the belief in feminism. They hold up signs on the internet and say things in person such as “I’m not a feminist because I don’t hate men.” Or “I’m not a feminist because I care about EVERYBODY’S rights.”
Clearly, they have little understanding as to what this means. As you can see from above the word feminism is the quest for quality among genders, not seeking superiority for women. This misconception truly hurts women not just throughout America but the world.
I’d like to give some more modern day examples to illustrate why feminism is needed, not in areas like the Middle East, but here in my homeland.
Feminism is needed because women still spend twice as much time at home caring for children and three times as much on housework. Gender roles continue to prevent equality within the homes of families. Of course if a woman wishes to stay home with her kids, that is her decision. But, women who have careers get shunned for not spending time with children or trying to create a family while men are praised for their hard work. Nobody ever asks a man why he’s working instead of watching the kids or why he doesn’t settle down for a family.
Feminism is needed because slogans for breast cancer include “Save the Tatas” Or “Save Second Base” when cancer is taking away our sisters and mothers we focus on the sexual and aesthetic value of her tits instead of the value of their lives. Why aren’t the slogans things like “Save our mothers” or something catchy about defeating cancer and fighting the good fight? Why are boobs so sexualized that women throughout the nation are dying from breast cancer and we’re just focusing on saving second base?
Feminism is needed because in the workplace women are given lower paying jobs. We make up 86% of paralegals, a third of lawyers, 16% of partners in law firms and just 4% of fortune 1000 CEOs. This is not because women have no interest in law clearly because nearly nine out of ten paralegals are women. This is not because women are not capable of what men are. In virtually every industry men are the leaders, the CEOs and the women who make it to such impressive titles are frowned upon by society and make less money.
Feminism is needed because when I argue that women should have equal rights to men, guys ask me if that means they can hit me. I ask for equality and they automatically assume that means they have permission to physically attack me. (Which by the way I see assaulting or committing battery against anybody as a violation of their rights because IT IS.)
Feminism is needed because when see girls walk around in a tank top in school because it’s 90 degrees outside, they get objectified as objects for pleasure. Their bodies are not seen as their own and something that they should respect and embrace. Instead they’re seen as a distraction because shoulders and yoga pants are too sexual. This encourages our current rape culture where the victim is blamed. Teachers even say things along the lines of “If they’re not following the dress code they’re probably a slut anyway.” (Which in my opinion makes the teacher seem like a bit of a pervert for focusing on the bodies of minors.) This causes young girls to self-objectify and that causes issues such as depression and eating disorders.
Feminism is needed because boobs are used to sell everything from beer, cars and even things like watches and perfume. Yet, a low cut top or a women without a bra in public is taboo. Boobs are on the front of magazines to be bought, American stores are okay with selling boobs, but being confident with your own body makes you a whore subjected to discrimination.
Feminism is needed because women who breastfeed in public aren’t protected by the law from harassment. They’re forced to feed their infants in dirty public bathrooms and many men compare breastfeeding in public to “feeding” their wife or girlfriend in the same places. Something needed to keep a child alive and healthy is seriously compared to an act in public that only has a sexual nature.
Feminism is needed because when I talk about the oppression of women, especially those of color most people tune me out or act as though I’m full of hate for men.
Feminism is needed because women are people too.