Please don’t run away after reading the title! To be honest, the rep that feminism has gotten over the years breaks my heart because it is due to misunderstanding and outliers that call themselves “feminists” taking it totally in the wrong direction. Sound familiar? I feel like this happens way too often today with a lot of things in the media. And yes those radical feminists exist but those aren’t the voices we should be paying attention to.
So if you’re still here reading this – thank you. I want to tackle this topic by answering two questions:
What is feminism to me? And in order to answer that question I want to say what feminism is not: it is not putting down anyone – of any gender. It is not hating men or believing they are evil or any other negative adjective. It’s not saying that men can’t hold doors open for women (but it is saying that it’s okay for women to do it too). And it’s not ignoring female privilege or about superiority of any one group over another.
Feminism at it’s core is equality – not just for women, but for all human beings, no matter their gender, their sex, race, religion and so on. Feminism is also acknowledging that women are oppressed but also that men are oppressed in a similar yet different manner (boys are instructed as much as girls in what a “man” is). It is admitting that in some areas of life women do have privileges (who were the first people to get onto the lifeboats of the Titanic besides the wealthy?) It’s also admitting that in some areas of life men do have privileges (arguably more so than women). It encourages both sexes to be civil to each other and to have respect for one another. Feminism means that a woman can choose to be a stay at home mom or a CEO and be encouraged and admired in both roles. It means that men can choose to be a stay at home dad or a CEO and be encourages and admired in both roles. Feminism is also vastly different for different areas in the world and I believe in multicultural feminism because the women in the U.S. are not dealing with the same issues that women in the Middle East or Africa are dealing with.
Why do we (meaning the human race) need feminism? We need feminism because everyone is being hurt by the lack of it. Boys are hurt, girls are hurt and people who identify as different genders are being hurt. We need feminism because there is still a wage gap and single mothers often are found below the poverty line. We need feminism because both genders should feel like they can do what they love and they want without repercussions from society. We need feminism because FGM is still prevalent. Because getting an education shouldn’t be a question of gender.
I could go on for a very long time about this topic but because I don’t want to bore you to tears I’ll end it with this question:
Do you think the world needs feminism?