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.