Feminism is a Good Thing

Feminism+is+a+Good+Thing

Emma Osborne, Writer

“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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