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I think it is safe to say that recent events have sparked a level of conflict and displeasure within the feminist community and among females as a whole. Marked by the presidential election, Women’s March and other minor events proceeding, I and other women alike are left confused and at a disbelief. The day after the Women’s March,  a friend ask if I had attended. With my response being “No,” I experienced immediate animosity. Her response, “Why not? Do you hate other women? Do you not think women should have rights? Did you vote for Trump?” Queue dramatic eye roll. I can honestly answer, yes, I do support President Trump, I and a little over half of women in the United States do. Donald Trump supports the growth and development of business. Economic progressions such as these not only help the nation as a whole, but most of all allow women to rise up in the workplace.

Also, somehow because I did not attend the march and did not support Hillary Clinton, my feminist card has been revoked. Oddly enough, less than 20% of American women consider themselves feminists (Washington Post). Abroad the statistics get even worse. In Britain less than 7% of both men and women consider themselves to be feminists (Telegraph UK). With that being said, the majority of women (and men) still believe in the equality of the sexes. These statistics speak volumes and definitely marks a flaw in the current feminist movement.

 

I, like so many women, see vulgar posters, hateful comments, demands, and unwarranted attacks. It appears that feminists have confused equality and equal rights. The last time I check, my rights were laid out by the constitution and are no different men’s. Modern feminists seem to hyper focus on minor comments made by our president and a perceived “rape culture” rather than supporting women. Feminists scream for respect and equality, yet wear vagina hats and criticize other women for having a difference of opinion. Modern feminists preach as though society is out to get them. That they are deeply oppressed and need radical change to be accepted. In reality, women in the United States have more opportunities and are more equal on every level than in any other country. Women now hold more high powered jobs and positions of authority than ever before. Women make just as much as men for the same job (the wage gap has been debunked a few times over) and in some cases more. The term feminism has been altered to fit the ideals of a small group, thus leaving behind the true purpose of the movement.

Today, I see feminists screaming for free this and that from the government, turning the description “white male” into a sin, and frankly doing nothing to support women who need it. When I see “feminists” advocating for such ideas, I cannot help but wonder what a woman in the Middle East thinks when she doesn’t even have the right to attend school. Rarely have I seen a “feminist” advocate for women under the suppression of Sharia Law, or women in parts of Africa forced against their will to be sterilized. More often do I see women ripping apart smart, successful women such as Ivanka Trump, Carly Fiorina, Victoria Beckham, etc. These women defied any glass ceiling and should be the faces of feminism. They stand high and advocate for other women to create, innovate, and become their own women.

This is the time to create a new wave of feminism. Instead of dividing women, we need to join forces and support all women. Instead of whining, we need to celebrate our progress while recognizing there still is work to be done. Feminism should be empowering for all, not just a selective few. Feminism should insight strength and inspire for tomorrow’s future.

 

Natalie Aldridge is a student living in New York City studying marketing and international business. With her style, passion for the arts, travel, and nostalgic spirit, she writes about fashion and lifestyle for her school HerCampus chapter. Natalie has won numerous award for her photoghraphy and art as well, including four Scholastic Key awards. Follow her on Instagram! @naataalliee
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