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Feminism is a Good Thing

Emma Osborne, Writer

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“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” ―Gloria Steinem

Feminism, by the definition of Oxford Dictionary, is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. Feminism does not mean that women wish to be superior to men, in fact, some men even support feminism as much as women. Feminism is not at all what the media, or even some people, seem to portray it as.

Before this article continues, I would like to point out that I am in no way shoving feminism down your throat. The point of this article is to entirely inform anyone who is curious about feminism, to further educate those who do know, and to bring awareness to a growing problem that many know nothing about.
You may think that feminism is women parading through the streets with posters that discourage our President or men, in general. You are completely wrong. Feminism is, frankly, quite the opposite. Feminism is women and men, even famous celebrities (Beyonce, Chris Hemsworth), who fight for so many things. The fight for the rights of girls around the world to go to school, for women around the world to be able to get careers. They fight to close the wage gap between women and men, and they fight to give women positions of power. Feminism is not a word that means making men inferior to women, not at all.

In a study conducted by the Washington Post on January 27th, 2016, 6 out of 10 women and 1/3 of men openly called themselves a feminist. 17% of these women consider themselves strong feminists, while 10% of those men consider themselves to be strong feminists. 43% of women consider themselves feminists, 23% of those men do too. Sadly though, 50% of men and 30% of women, do not consider themselves feminists. 5% of men are anti-feminists, 2% of women are too. 12% of men and 7% of women have no opinion on the topic. The point of this study is not to bore you with numbers, but to show you that most men and women do consider themselves to be the feminists that the world could use. Even though some women and men consider themselves to be anti-feminists, non-feminists, or have no opinion, the numbers of feminists for both men and women continue to climb every day. Feminism is already such a huge topic, but it will continue to grow.

I know what you’re thinking. Why are we, American women, so worried about our rights if we know for a fact that we have just about every right men have? Feminism is not just about American women, it is about engaging social, political, and educational justice for all girls and women around the world. 65 million girls are not allowed to attend school. 70 million people around the world cannot attend school, which means over half of that number is girls. Of the 123 million people around the world who cannot read or write, women make up 63%. In fact, one of the sad realities of the education epidemic is that children born to women who can read or write are 50 times more likely to survive past age 5.

The education problem that is landscaped around the world is just one example of the many injustices that women around the world must face every day. It is not up for debate; women deserve to read and write just as much as men. If you are still convinced that American women have nothing to worry about, here are a few things that American women still must conquer: a wide wage gap (men holding the same position as women make almost twice as much as women), sexual violence, and even things such as becoming president (in fact, .043% of Donald Trump supporters voted against Clinton just because she is female).

One of the most significant problems that women in America (and other major countries) face is occupational sex segregation. In 2009, men outnumbered women in science and engineering fields at a score of 79% to 27%. This could partially be due to women choosing different fields, but some women have reported choosing a different career besides STEM simply because they were discouraged by a male figure. What makes the work of a female engineer different from the work of a male engineer? Absolutely nothing. Telling a woman that she cannot become an electrical engineer or an astrophysicist because she female is simply just prejudice.

In closing, I hope that this article brought light to your opinion on feminism and how it doesn’t destroy, but saves. Feminism is not a bad word. It does not have a bad meaning. Feminism may be portrayed as gruesome by the media, but that does not give justice to the underlying meaning of feminism. The truth is, below the yelling and bad costumes and simply bad choices, women are fighting. We are fighting for the rights of women around the world. We are fighting for education. We are fighting for equal pay. We are fighting to not be seen as material items, but as independently capable women. The point of the matter is that women will always want equality for ourselves and our daughters and our granddaughters that are to come. If you agree with feminism, if you are unsure of feminism, or if you are completely anti-feminist, it doesn’t matter. We will always continue to fight for our own rights.

“Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.” —Hillary Clinton

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8 Comments

8 Responses to “Feminism is a Good Thing”

  1. Matthew Canaan on November 17th, 2017 9:01 am

    I respect your opinion, but the fact is that the wage gap is a myth. On top of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which requires companies to pay every race and both men and women equally, the wage gap wouldn’t make logical sense. Why wouldn’t companies just hire all women to save money?

    [Reply]

    Maddi Richmond Reply:

    The truth is that maybe we don’t see the wage gap in big jobs we’re all familiar with, but if you do look and you do the research, you will find personal stories of females and people of every race facing actual wage gap problems. It is a real problem, it just depends on how much you read into the subject.

    [Reply]

    Seth Mooney Reply:

    The problem with that is that it is completely 100% illegal to pay women less. There is no wage gap, however, there can be an earnings gap. Because men typically work more overtime and take fewer vacation days. At the end of the day, men may earn more on their paycheck, but the wages are the same.

    [Reply]

    Maddi Richmond Reply:

    Seth, I completely agree with what you said. However, even if it is illegal, if you look it up, there are reported cases of wage gap issues in the U.S, but there are also cases around the world. I think a lot of this depends on how much information you can gather on the topic. The wage gap is barely mentioned in this, and it is only a minute detail compared to other issues discussed in the article.

  2. Kimberly Campbell on November 30th, 2017 9:43 pm

    This is a very informative article. I can tell you for a fact there is very much a wage gap in fact women have to use the courts in a lot of cases to get the same pay. It’s very sad in this day and age that women have to fight to get the same pay. Very well written Emma.

    [Reply]

  3. Tia Walkup on December 7th, 2017 12:48 pm

    I’m late on this, but this is an excellent article Emma. You know you did a good job arguing your point when the only thing people can counter you on is very minute details. Love, love, love this article!

    [Reply]

  4. Kaley Vestal on January 1st, 2018 9:25 pm

    Emma, you are so so smart. This article is wonderful and one of the best I have came back to read. I also talked about the wag gap and feminism in an article in my ‘glory days’ with CavTalk, and this made me very happy to see. Keep writing well structured articles like this! I look forward to reading more on here.

    [Reply]

  5. Seth Mooney on January 4th, 2018 9:50 pm

    If we take a look at the other “issues” we find that occupational sex segregation in STEM fields is deemed a significant problem. However, it is not. In fact, a study in 2015 by Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci the co-directors of the Cornell Institute for Women in Science found that female candidates are now twice as likely to be chosen as equally qualified men.

    [Reply]

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