We Can’t Give Up On Feminism.
Until women have the same rights as each other, not just men, regardless of race, faith or sexuality, we have to keep going. We can’t give up on feminism.
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘feminism’? Unfortunately, many people think negatively of this word and the movement that it describes.
Naysayers claim that women don’t know how good they’ve got it nowadays. But the thing is, any women who have it ‘pretty good’ right now do so because of feminism. If we stop now, we won’t move forward. Now is not the time to quit.
Recent articles written in opposition to the women’s marches made various claims supporting the idea that American women have nothing to protest, given that we are better off than women in many other countries. Yet these claims are proof that society still has a long way to go.
The idea that women should grow complacent with their reproductive health being at stake, just because “it could be worse,” is so outlandish to me that I can’t even put my disgust into words.
And, hello? Feminist movements work to better the lives of women in other countries besides the U.S. as well. Anti-feminists will point to the less-privileged lives of foreign women to make their claims, while in the same breath condemning the idea of U.S. taxpayers funding Planned Parenthood internationally.
So… do you really want to help those underprivileged women or not, anti-fems?
No answer? Sigh.
What We’ve Done So Far
Not that long ago, women couldn’t vote, couldn’t move up the corporate ladder, couldn’t get a decent education — the list goes on. Because of the incredible strides from various civil rights movements that have empowered females across the country, women have gained the right to vote, pursue an education and have a career.
If she wants to, the modern day woman can get a degree and go into any field that she wants to. Women can be doctors, scientists, computer engineers, astronauts, chefs and just about anything else their hearts desire. Women can become active in the political landscape and have their voice heard by voting. Women can even run for president.
Notice something? All of those sentences included the same phrase—women can— instead of women cannot.
Some people see feminists as people who believe that women should get special treatment because of their gender. This is a common misconception, and it hinders the real goals of the movement terribly. Feminists are simply fighting for equal rights for all people, regardless of gender.
The marches, protests and social movements that have stemmed from the feminist mindset have resulted in real change in the lives of women. Feminism isn’t some selfish, shallow mindset. It’s a movement for change that’s worth fighting for.
There’s So Much More to be Done
Though feminists have made incredible progress over the past few centuries, there is still work to be done. The wage gap isn’t entirely closed yet, though it is slowly getting there. Women and young girls are still often afraid to walk outside alone at night and are often shamed if they reveal that they have been assaulted.
A big societal issue is that women are often caught in Catch-22 situations due to preconceived notions about what it means to be a woman.
She has a management position? She must be bossy. She doesn’t have a job? Wow, she’s lazy.
She has sex? She’s a slut. She’s waiting for marriage? What a prude!
She stands up for herself? She’s a total bitch. She stays quiet? She’s a coward.
If she wears a tight skirt, she’s “asking for it.” But when she wears a hoodie? She’s sloppy.
These are just some of the ridiculous standards that women are expected to live up to. Women may be inching towards equality politically and economically, but in society, it still appears as though their every move is being questioned and criticized.
Until women are treated with the same respect as men, feminists are necessary. Feminists are the people who are empowering women and men, making sure that everybody is treated equally.
‘We Have It So Good’ is a myth until *all* women have the same freedoms and rights as *each other*, not just men
Even in countries like the U.S. where women apparently ‘have it so good,’ there is still an intersectional nature to modern feminism. Equality is vital when it comes to race, class and sexuality. Education, safety, sexual health and financial stability are just a few of the many ‘pleasures’ that are still not available to all women. Until we can proudly say that all women have ample access to the same opportunities as each other, not just men, then there is still work to be done.
Many people still question the value of feminism and the validity of the feminist fight, but largely, more people are accepting the fact that women aren’t treated equally. “But you have it so good” is a myth. Even celebrities, both male and female, are speaking out for the empowerment and equality of women. Being a feminist is generally celebrated in the media more than it is criticized and this itself is a step in the right direction.
So, we can’t give up on feminism. Not now, when we’ve come so far and still have progress to make. This is the time to fight for our beliefs and stand up for ourselves, until everybody is truly treated equally.