Feminism has taken on many meanings over the years. What started out as a fight for women’s suffrage has turned into a movement that promotes equality among women and empowers women to be individuals and live for themselves.
Women all around are stronger, wage gaps are being closed, sexual harassment and assault are finally being targeted, and women are getting the respect they deserve. In several places around the country this is true, but there are still some locations out there where women are not getting treated the way that they should. According to Vox, after working for a few years some women who are business school graduates are earning 60% less than men in the same field. This illustrates that in certain places in the United States the wage gap remains a truly serious issue. Furthermore, there are several other instances that have shown that equality has not yet been reached for women. For instance, Brock Turner is a rapist that did not receive justice for the crimes that he committed against a female, simply because he had a good future that might be ruined if he was properly punished for his crimes. This is baffling and shocking. Sadly, assault is something that women are frequently afraid of falling victim to. They walk with keys between their fingers, and pepper spray on their key chains to prevent attacks. Personally, I carry around pepper spray in fear of these issues. Events like the Brock Turner ruling illustrate that feminism is needed now more than ever.
What about the opposite side, though? Not meninism, but the side where females are not breastfeeding their baby boys, because they are supposedly already at an advantage, or oppressing men. These things are two very extreme views, but they happen. That is part of the reason why some do not support feminism. They choose to only focus on the negative, because it’s easier to ignore this movement if it seems like everyone is an extremist. It’s things like this that make being a feminist more difficult, because you constantly have to deal with men thinking that you’re crazy when you are just trying to support and empower yourself.
Not only this, but often times feminism can be very exclusive to certain types of women. Feminism does not always include women who are transgender or genderfluid. Some people feel that you need to have all the female genitals to celebrate and fight for being female. But feminism shouldn’t be like this. Everyone that identifies as a woman has common struggles. They are often discriminated against, suffer from the wage gap, and are sexually assaulted. Everyone deserve to be able to fight for their rights without views of harsh negativity surrounding what’s in their pants.
Feminism shouldn’t include putting others down, because of what they “don’t have”. It should not include oppressing others for the sake of gaining rights. It is about empowerment. It is about learning to love oneself, and to realize that no matter your gender that you can do anything that you set your mind to. It is about understanding that we are all equal, and that we deserve the same rights. To be paid the same, to be treated the same, to be able to feel safe. Feminism is about understanding that we as women deserve to have the same rights as men, but also that men deserve the same rights that we do. It should be about control over our own bodies, and understanding that we cannot make decisions for others, but need to instead reflect on ourselves, and become better people.
So how do we show our true colors as women with all of this going on? By supporting equality. Men, women, genderfluid, transgender, whatever you may identify as, need to band together. They need to work on supporting one another to allow children to grow up in a world filled with equality. So feminism today, should be about equality. It is about equality.