So You Think You're "So Over" Feminists?

In light of the recent women’s marches, an article from May of 2016 has been circulating again. I Am a Female and I Am So Over Feminists. That’s right. She is “so over” us. Dear Susan B. Anthony, I know you worked so hard to give all of us future women right vote but sorry, you’re yesterday’s news. Amelia Bloomer, thanks for crusading for us to be able to wear pants, but we’re “so over” you.

The author stresses multiple times that we need to relax and that we’re doing just fine. I mean, if you call getting skimped 22 cents for every man’s dollar “doing fine”―and that’s if you’re lucky and a white woman―then sure, we’re peachy! If we need to relax while men are making laws that determine what we can do with our bodies―great! Let’s hit up the spa. If being okay means that rape isn’t rape if we’re unconscious then we are just dandy.

If any of these scenarios strike a chord with you, we hate to break it to you, but you can’t say that you are “so over” feminists. Like it or not, feminists are the ones working to remedy these situations. And feminists are the reason we have as many rights and opportunities as we do today. Did you vote in this past election? Did you wear pants today? Do you have a job? Are you in a STEM field? All of these things were made possible by past feminists and are being maintained by current ones. We have more rights nowadays than women 100 years ago could have ever dreamed of having.

HOWEVER, the progress we’ve made in no way diminishes the work that still needs to be done. There is still a wage gap, the percentage of rapists that go to prison is still less than 1%, and subjects in school are still socially segregated by gender. A physics teacher at our high school was famous for saying, “Girls just like to make things pretty. It’s the boys who do the real thinking.” People like him are the reason we still need feminists. Not to prove female dominance as certain writers would like to say, rather, to even the playing field socially, economically, and politically.

Another argument the author makes is that feminists can’t accept common courtesy from men and will become offended when a man opens a door for her. This is such a broad generalization being applied to all feminists based off isolated incidents this author may have had. Personally, we have never seen such a thing occur. However, even if we had, we would not be so narrow-minded as to apply that behavior to every feminist in the world. Politeness nowadays is much less about casting women in a weak light than it is about basic human decency. The practice may have begun as benevolent sexism, but that view is no longer current. The idea that feminists hate men and will turn their nose up at a small favor is playing into the stereotype of a “feminazi” or “radical feminist”. There is a huge difference.   

Another misconception about feminism that we believe spurs much of the hate toward the cause is that the feminist agenda is about dragging men down while benefitting ourselves. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines feminism first as, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and second as, “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests”. Nowhere in either of those definitions does it say that feminists want women to be top dog or have more rights than men. Feminism if for equality, regardless of who it benefits. Feminism means equal pay for women for doing the same jobs as men. Feminism also means equal sentencing for women who perpetrate the same domestic violence as men. Not everything being advocated for is solely for female gain. The key concept in feminism is EQUALITY.

Before you trash a movement that has already given you so much, at least have the decency to do your homework first. You don’t have to identify as a feminist, but you have to acknowledge everything that feminism has given you and will continue to give you, regardless of your support. We have made progress in leaps and bounds but we are not okay. We are female and we are proud feminists.