Hey, Do You Even Know What The Feminist Movement Is About?

Hey, Do You Even Know What The Feminist Movement Is About?

If you don't think you need feminism – you are entitled to that opinion, but I will keep fighting for us both.
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I keep seeing a lot of articles from women claiming that they don’t need feminism. If you think that, fine.

You are entitled to your own opinion no matter how wrong I think it is, but so am I. You may not see all the ways that feminism has touched your life, but I do.

I can use my vote to have a voice in my government. I can choose what’s best for my future in terms of education and career. I have rights over what happens to my body. All outcomes of the fights feminists have fought for women in our country. If you choose not to honor those fights, that is up to you. All choices, however, come with consequences.

What we conceive as our rights have not always been so, and could cease to be so at any time. The last year has proven that the unimaginable can in fact happen and that there are individuals in high stakeholding positions of our country that can make unconstitutional decisions at the drop of a dime.

I need feminism because there are people out there who want to defund health institutions focused on providing necessary services to low-income women, who would otherwise suffer without.

I need feminism because there are people out there who think that a woman still has a certain role to be filled based on their own preconceived notions of what it means to be a woman, rather than an individual woman’s hopes and dreams. I need feminism because there are people out there who think women have an obligation to abide by certain rules that have no standing in the lives of men.

I need feminism because there are people out there who are offended by women using their breasts for their natural, biological intentions but find it perfectly acceptable to use breasts to sell their products by sexualizing the female body in advertisements.

I need feminism because my little brother is six and already thinks there are certain toys he can’t play with because they are “not for little boys”. I need feminism because our criminal justice system cares more about the future of sexual assailants than their victims. I need feminism because there are people out there who find it appropriate to scream out profanities to women on the street and find no issue with making women feel uncomfortable as they go about an average day. I need feminism because when I bring up any of these issues or even claim myself as a feminist I am responded to with rolled eyes and tightened facial features. People are literally rolling their eyes at the idea of equality.

Oh, you don’t like feminists because you think they are extremists? There are extremists in literally any identifiable group of people you look at. There are conservatives, and then there are alt-right neo-Nazi white supremacists. There are Muslims, and then there is ISIS. There are Christians, and then there are Westboro Baptists. None of these groups are defined by those who take their definitions and doctrines into their own hands and mold them into identities to hide behind while they fulfill their own agendas. The same is true for feminists.

Feminism is about equality of all people (regardless of their gender, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion, or whatever other categories by which we can further define people). Feminism looks to alleviate inequality as it relates to and is caused by patriarchal norms and misogynistic attitudes. If that sounds anything like hating men or just being too lazy to shave or whatever other stereotypes you can think of, then you are grossly missing the point.

This is why I need feminism. I need it for myself, my mother, my grandma, my brother, my niece, my nephew, my neighbor, my community.

So if you don’t think you need feminism I am truly happy for you that you haven’t yet felt the oppression that women all over the country are facing, but I strongly urge you to really re-evaluate what you think feminism is and why you don’t think you need it. If you still feel the same way – you are entitled to that opinion, but I will keep fighting for us both.

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I Am A Millennial And I'm Proud

We're not dead yet. So we can't be that bad, right?
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This will most definitely be a controversial topic, but I feel like this needs to be said.

Today millennials are the most hated generation yet. Perhaps that's just because every generation prior to the one before has something bad to say about them, but I believe that we millennials get the worst commentary on our actions. And I honestly have to disagree with what most of the world has to say about us.

Millennials are great.

It's true. Many people are just so used to seeing the opposite perceived in media that they don’t think any different. There has been so much hate thrown at this generation and it's absolutely crazy. To think that the entirety of our generation acts like those that you only see in the news or other types of social media platforms is absurd. I understand that there are a lot of millennials that act disrespectful and ungrateful, but 90% of the millennials I know have a much different story compared to that in the media.

Millennials aren’t begging off their parents, laying around the house with no job, pretending as if they have no sense of responsibility whatsoever. No, most of the millennials I know are employed, sometimes with more than one job, going to college, and paying bills to help keep a roof over their family’s heads for those that still live with their parents.

The rest of us are just trying to survive. We aren’t lazy. The world and economy is too unstable for that. We are busting our tails trying to make a living while still being able to afford an outrageous amount for education (because you can’t get a REAL job without some sort of degree these days).

And for the way millennials seem to act is wrong too. We often get called disrespectful and “snowflakes.” I’m not saying all millennials are saints. That is far from the truth. We are all capable of mistakes, but it’s a far stretch to blame the entire generation for what a group or community get fame for.

Would you say that all Christians are back-washed and racist because the KKK was a group of “Christians” that also liked to murder and torture the black community? No, you wouldn’t because that is not accurate. Nor should you all assume we are all disrespectful like certain youtubers. *cough Logan Paul cough* So, therefore, you can’t all label us millennials as lazy kids who all still depend on our parents and party all the time.

And most kids act the way they do because that was how they were raised. So then, if that's the case, shouldn't you blame the ones who raised them? Just food for thought.

As for the “snowflake” comment, to that, I ask: What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with a little sensitivity.

I find nothing wrong with a generation that seems to care about others and their well-being. We learned to care at times when others didn’t. We learned to care for those who had no one to care for. We learned to love those who were different and learned to be accepting of their differences whether or not they inflicted ours.

We are a softer generation and I honestly think that’s what our world needs right now. With all the heartache, don’t you think it’s time to just accept one another and worry about real problems affecting our country? Don’t you think it’s time to come together instead of dividing ourselves? To love one another?

Sensitivity shows that we care and that’s something to take pride in. I know people may hate the political correctness and other sensitive topics, but its just to show respect and acceptance. This is not to say that generations prior to us are not respectful or accepting. Perhaps they were taught another way or maybe it’s just another “tough love” thing.

Or perhaps we are just more vocal with our feelings nowadays. We all feel, but voicing our emotions is what really allows us to connect with other people and to feel normal. Maybe that’s why we are called “snowflakes.”

Other generations may have struggled, but we have our own struggles too. We are trying to survive with an unstable economy and market and we don’t take it out on you as some would suggest.

We have our faults, there's no doubt about that, but instead of blaming us, try realizing that you're not perfect either and throughout all the generations that have come and go, we're not dead yet. So we can't be that bad right?

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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3 Reasons Why You Should Stand With The Nation's Children And Make A Change On Guns

Will you?
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I am a college student. I am a product of the public-school system. And for years, I have been terrified of the potential of a shooter coming to my school. This is my story, and it is shared by children all across the United States. It has become a part of our culture. And that is sickening.

This does not need to be a part of our lives. These senseless tragedies need to stop now. I believe I speak for all my peers and educators when I say we are not going to take this anymore.

The recent tragedy in Florida shook me to my core, and as I speak with those around me about the event, I feel helpless. Besides feeling angry, disgusted, and sad, what can I do? This repetitive cycle seems unstoppable, an insurmountable feat that I don’t know how to conquer.

It’s been a little over a week since the shooting in Parkland and while I’m sitting here feeling hopeless, those whose grief is not even fully comprehensible to the rest of us are taking a stand. In an article from the New York Times this Sunday, I read about how the survivors of the shooting are raising their voices while grieving. Please take the time to read it for yourself, so you too can have the experience I did.

Change is possible, but only if we work to make it happen. For those of you reading who are students, I believe it is our time to rise and demand some real changes in the legislation. Some real focus on what can be done to protect students and end these senseless tragedies. Because I don’t think there is just one answer to ending this. But I do believe we need to put our attention as a nation on this issue. The time is up, and we won't rest until there is no more.

Please take the time to consider taking these steps to make a change.

1. Contact your senator and ask them what they’re doing to address gun violence and school shootings.

202-224-312 will direct you to an operator that can connect you to your senator, or you can find further contact info here.

2. Sign the petition to participate in the National School Walkout on April 20th.

And then follow through.

3. Keep the conversation going about gun violence in schools.

If we stop talking about it, the problem only gets worse.

Whatever your political leanings, I think we can all agree that something needs to be done about stopping these tragedies. If we work together, we can find a real solution.

Cover Image Credit: CNN

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