Feminism. A word teenagers everywhere run from. A word people everywhere run from. A word people run from because they fail to recognize the true meaning. False accusations of what the word "feminism" means have made people everywhere run from a term that should unite us all together. A term that should make us love and fight for each other even more than we already do. The true meaning of feminism is, put simply, the equality of men and women's rights. That's it, and frankly, if you don't believe that, you've got a big sexist problem of your own.
If you looked at someone and asked them if they believed in equality of men and women's rights, nine out of ten times they would say yes, (unless you accidentally ask a sexist loser). If you looked at someone and asked if they are a feminist, the likeliness of them saying yes significantly goes down. People hesitate to call themselves feminists because of what they think feminists believe in, they often think a popular belief is the hatred of men. Anyone who thinks feminists are bringing down men needs to read this statement over and over; women are fighting for equality, not justice. We aren't trying to make up for the last dozen centuries of equality and prejudice, even though that is the pain that women have been through since the beginning of society.
Every feminist out there isn't the horrible person that most expect them to be. They are just people who want and fight for the equality of the genders.
We live in a society that is dominated by men. Women make up about 51% of the population of the United States, so it would only make sense that we made up around half of the government too, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Women make up less than 20% of the elected government. If in your head you're thinking how crazy that percentage is, that makes two of us. I checked, and rechecked this ridiculous percentage and sadly, it's about right. Women don't often run for leadership positions because of the patriarchal ideas that men are supposed to be the heads of the government, the church, and even the household. It is extremely difficult to break this leadership pattern that has been engraved in human minds for centuries.
Though the number of women in government is improving, the fact is that the low number of women in government is most definitely not the only proof of a male dominated society. Other examples can be found everyday in the observation of rape culture, the sexualization of women in the media, gender stereotypes, and so much more.
Aziz Ansari, an actor and comedian best known for his work in the TV show, "Parks and Recreation," brought recognition to the true meaning of feminism in an interview with David Letterman. Beyonce wrote an essay ("Gender Equality is a Myth!") on the importance of drawing attention to gender inequality and unequal pay. John Legend, Ashton Kutcher, and so many more influential heads are trying to use their fame to impact modern society's views and not let the word feminism scare them away from real idea it represents. EQUALITY.
Emma Watson, the British actress well known for her work as Hermione in the Harry Potter saga, delivered a speech at the U.N. headquarters as a part in her campaign, "HeForShe." In her message she addresses the issue with the word, feminism, and how its nowadays seems to mean "anti-men." She also not only discusses female stereotypes but male stereotypes as well. Her message is heartfelt and cogent as she explains her privileged perspective and fight for not only others like her, but other women who are silenced every day because of their gender.
Most of the people reading this article are also looking at inequality from a privileged perspective. The points I've made that discuss society's look on women are already accurate and upsetting, so ] imagine how the oppressed women around the world live everyday. We are not only fighting for ourselves, and women everywhere need to start standing up for our sisters around the world who are seen as lower than men in their country, their society, and even sometimes their religion. Recognize that we are not only fighting for the privileged, we are fighting for the women who can not fight, and join in on winning this war.