The Feminism of Today is Needed

We Do Not Belong to a Post-Feminist Society. 

Feminism is defined in a myriad of ways and has different meanings for various individuals. According to Merriam Webster, feminism is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” According to Bell Hooks, “feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” According to Pat Robertson, “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”  HELLS YEAH!

One issue many feminists, including myself, advocate for is gender wage disparities. “The Wage Gap” is often deemed a myth because of the misunderstanding of the deep institutionalizes disparities for female workers. While two individuals, one male-identified and one female-identified, working the same job, say, any minimum wage job a college student may hold, may make the same amount of money, this is not the case in all career fields. The gender wage disparity is due to horizontal segregation, vertical segregation, and overall discrimination. Horizontal segregation deals with the jobs men and women hold, and many of theses statistics are based on the falsehood that gender is a binary. For example, nursing is a female dominated field while those who are medical doctors are primarily male. Vertical segregation deals with the disparities between men and women in any given field due to numerous circumstances from unpaid maternity leave to a lack of promotions. This also has to do with the specializations men and women have in a specific field, and the salaries associated with those specializations. The overall discrimination for wage inequalities can be overt or discreet. Besides for one’s gender, one’s sexual orientation, race, physical and mental ability, and overall “attractiveness” can affect pay.  

Feminist advocate extensively for better education, and some say this started with Mary Wollstonecraft in the 1700’s with her publication of A Vindication for the Rights of Woman. While American education for women has improved extensively in the past, say, 200 years, we still need to make tremendous strides for all women and girls worldwide. This includes girls who are denied education in some parts of the world. In America, quality education may be accessible, but expensive based on one’s location. 

Feminism is inherently intersectional and fights for women’s rights and equality for all genders, races, religious beliefs, classes, etc. Those who believe we have solved enough issues relating to women’s rights should consider those battles that were not won. Feminism fights against the institutional sexism, racism, homophobia, and classism that is present in our societies.