Hey, it’s Ivy! I saw this article yesterday: is feminism for everyone? I honestly wish I could just say yes but of course it’s not that easy. I have been thinking about feminism for days and days and, especially as I’ve researched, have been feeling stronger and stronger about gender equality as a current issue in our society. I decided to become a supporter of the feminist movement as soon as I understood what it meant to be a feminist. Why? Because for thousands of years, males have been primarily dominant. But it isn’t the stone ages anymore. It isn’t the generation our parents and grandparents grew up in. As a teenage girl in the 21st century, I still witness and am a target of gender bias today.
I’m also aware that it will affect my future with the gender pay wage gap and whatnot. Thinking about gender inequality makes me really salty to be honest. Even at school I’ll get really annoyed when I hear someone say something sexist. Like yes, I am a girl, and no, that does not mean I’m weaker or more vulnerable or more incapable than you. Although there can be negative connotations of the word feminism, the raw belief it encompasses is that women are just as capable as men. If you still need convincing about why feminism benefits everyone, keep reading.
Here’s my approach on why feminism benefits everybody, and why anyone can be a feminist.
First of all, why I choose to be a feminist-
I feel like I have learned enough about history to know that people cannot be deprived of their rights on basis of race, gender, sexuality, etc. I have grown up in an extremely progressive, primarily liberal, accepting-of-all area, so I know that I am far, far from experiencing the worst of gender inequality but even here, I am still aware of gender bias around me. I don’t want to grow up into a traditional male-dominated future. I want to have independence and legal rights equal to those of men. But also, professionally, women earn 77% of what men earn on average.
This is ridiculous considering employers prey on the few abilities that the majority men and women do not generally have in common instead of the multitude of abilities that we DO have in common. Although I know this is going to be a reality of my future, it is unfair and unequal and I don’t want to struggle with gender inequality the way generations upon generations of women before me have.
Feminism and the world
Feminism is a worldwide movement which benefits both men and women. It reaches from western society to the middle east. Despite massive progress, women’s rights still remain an enormous issue throughout the world. Women are forbidden to drive in Saudi Arabia. In South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of women are married by age 18, a product of cruel arranged marriage. This disregards the fundamental right for all humans of choice of partnership. “In Pakistan, women are expected to accept arranged marriages and refusal can lead to “honor killings” that typically go uncontested by the government.” (Borgen Magazine). ARE YOU NOT FREAKING OUT BECAUSE I AM! THIS IS INHUMAN!! THIS IS BEYOND UNETHICAL!!! In Lebanon, women cannot get divorced unless they have an eyewitness willing to come forth and testify. In Bahrain, women are denied custody rights of their children. In several third world countries, customary or religious law prohibits land ownership of females without the approval of her husband to this day. This is ACTIVELY DENYING WOMEN OF THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS.
Everybody deserves the right to the freedom that makes them human. Right now , millions of women are being denied these rights.
what feminism means
First of all, anyone who believes in gender equality can be a feminist. No matter your gender, race, nation, religion, etc. as long as you believe in the social, political, and economic equality of males and females alike. I don’t get why there are so many negative connotations of feminism. It upsets me how many people still think feminism is about women hating men or wanting to be above men, which isn’t the case; I am a feminist because I believe that everyone should have equal opportunity and rights as human beings, I wish that everyone else understood that too. Feminism isn’t about “man hate”. I’m totally against hating anyone by basis of gender or religion or skin color. Working for gender domination over males seems ironic because isn’t that what feminism is supposed to be UNdoing? Gender inequality?
Feminism also breaks traditional gender bindings that both men and women are victims of. We all know the idea that women should fill the “homemaker” roll and that guys should be “masculine” enough. Come on!! Be what YOU want to be. This is only one of many examples of how feminism benefits everyone. Feminism has helped empower ME and has shown other teen girls trying to find their place in society that that being a strong, independent woman who doesn’t want to conform with ancient gender stereotypes while helping spread awareness for others worldwide is GOOD. Feminism is not just a fight for gender equality but also a fight for rudimentary human rights.
Are you a feminist?