Everything You Need To Know About Modern Day Feminism

Everything You Need To Know About Modern Day Feminism

Being a feminist means that you want every human being to be treated fairly.
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Recently, I viewed two articles written for the Odyssey that put down the importance of feminism. One was titled "I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Protest Sign," (https://www.theodysseyonline.com/not-feminist-not-...) and the other was titled "I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist." (https://www.theodysseyonline.com/female-but-im-not...) After reading these articles, it has become very clear to me that there is still wide spread confusion over what feminism actually is, so let me help. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of feminism is this; "The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes." That's it.

It is not women trying to overpower or condemn men, it is not forcing every woman to become a business woman and give up the thought of a family, it is not being told to burn your bras and to stop shaving your armpits (though women should certainly be able to do those things if they choose to). You do not have to identify as a woman to be a feminist, men can and should be feminists. This article is a response to anyone who is confused as to what the feminist movement is about.

The main issue that the author of "I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Protest Sign" has with feminism is that because she personally knows more women in the workforce than men, we don't need to fight the system anymore. As happy as I am for this author that she sees more women working than men, that isn't the case everywhere, and that especially isn't the case for women who aren't white and who don't identify as straight.

Further into the article, this author takes a sharp turn and says that women who work are not an inspiration and that they are insulting to her, as she feels that she is no longer allowed to want a life as a wife, a mother, or a homemaker. She concludes her article with the statement that, while traditional gender roles can be flipped, women are soft and should submit to their husbands (that's what the Bible says, after all) and that she has no interest in doing tasks that have been appointed to men. Her final sentence states that women should all support each other because "we all need some girl power."

To be honest, this article was a roller coaster, and the author contradicts herself with every new paragraph. If you feel like feminism is pressuring you to be a businesswoman, and that it is taking away the right to be a stay at home mom, that's your own misunderstanding of what feminism is. Feminism is about equality, but it is also about embracing who you are as a woman. If you want to bake cookies and be a soccer mom, great. If you want to run your own company and not take your husband's last name, great. Don't confuse restrictions that you've put on yourself with the movement that is fighting for your rights.

In "I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist," the author begins by saying that she believes in equality between the genders, but that realistically, it isn't feasible because some men are stronger than some women, and some women are smarter than some men, and so on and so forth. Obviously, people are born with different skills and talents, but that doesn't mean that they aren't equal as human beings. If someone gets a job, gets promoted, etc., it should be because of their skill set, not their gender. Some people are star athletes, while others are born with the IQ of a genius. Given a test in these fields, it is impossible for everyone to be considered equal; the human race just doesn't work that way. However, these things have nothing to do with the fair and equal treatment of the genders.

In the second half of the article, the author claims that the only reason modern-day feminism exists is because it is "cool." She says that it is "cool" to hate Donald Trump and that it is "cool" to fight for equality. Feminism isn't "jumping on the bandwagon of hating Trump." It is, and always has been, about men and women being treated as equals. That includes men and women of any orientation and race.

While it is not my intention to make this article political, it is important to say that people don't hate Donald Trump because it is "cool." They hate him because he mocks disabled people, he is sexist, and he makes broad statements without any knowledge on the subject that he is speaking on. Feminists have a large spread of reasons to hate Trump, not because it is "cool."

Feminism is not something to believe in because it is "the latest trend." Feminism is needed because so many people (male and female) need to know that they matter and that they are no less than any other human being. While both of the authors that I mentioned acknowledge that they realize that women of the past have fought for their rights, they don't seem to understand that proclaiming "I am not a feminist and never will be" is spitting on the women of the past 200 years who took a stand and fought for the rights that many women today take for granted. It is spitting on the millions of girls who will become child brides this year, the women who will be sold into slavery, and the victims of domestic violence. You are laughing at all of the people who are being discriminated against because of one thing; their gender.

It is because of feminism that myself, and the two authors that I have mentioned, were even allowed to write these articles. While the feminist movement has taken great strides over the years, we still have a long way to go. To anyone who is a feminist, and to those who are working to make the world a better place for all of the genders, I commend you. I know it isn't easy, but it is important to keep fighting.

Cover Image Credit: upload.wikimedia.org

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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I Am Pro-Life, And I Am Tired Of Being Attacked For My Opinion

I am pro-life from a secular and logical standpoint.

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We live in a country based on free speech, so why are pro-lifers verbally and physically attacked for merely their stance on a controversial topic? Why is Instagram censoring pro-life voices? Social media users should be given both sides of the argument, then allowed to make an informed decision, but by showing them only pro-choice content, their opinion will be biased.

Harmless pro-life posts are being shadow-banned from popular hashtags, lowering reach and engagement. There is a problem when non-violent, non-hateful posts showcasing people holding up signs that say, "Voices for the Voiceless", are censored.

Why are pro-choicers allowed to share their opinions on social media and be praised, while pro-lifers lose followers for sharing a pro-life post? It is vital that people have different opinions, and shunning pro-lifers encourages homogeneity of political opinions. Pro-lifers should not lose friends. Pro-lifers should not be attacked. Pro-lifers should not be scared of speaking up for what they believe is right.

I am pro-life, but I respect everyone's opinion. Instead of shunning the opposite side, I try to hear them out and understand where they are coming from.

Instead of dismissing pro-lifers as being old white men trying to control women's bodies, why not hear them out and try to understand the reasoning behind their opinions?

I used to be neutral on the topic of abortion, until a month ago, when I saw something that completely changed my perspective. It was around the time Governor Kemp signed the fetal heartbeat bill in Georgia, and it was a hot topic, so I decided to do some research. I came across a sight called "Priests For Life". "Oh great", I thought, "This site is going to impose its Christian views of abortion on everyone." Once on the site, I clicked on a tab titled, "America Will Not Reject Abortion Until America Sees Abortion."

I clicked on the gallery, and was confronted with the cold hard truth. View the gallery with extreme caution, because the images/videos are VERY graphic.

From this site, I also discovered that planned parenthood harvests and sells the body parts of aborted babies. Keep in mind, Planned Parenthood, providing 1/3 of abortions in America, receives $500 million dollars yearly from taxpayers. Having taxpayers' money going toward reforming foster care would be a better idea in my opinion.

The Declaration of Independence states, "Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". The difference in opinion on whether the law should protect unborn children is a major factor that divides the pro-life and pro-choice movements.

In my humble opinion, I believe an unborn child should be protected by the law once a heartbeat is detected. We cannot dehumanize unborn children with euphemisms such as "clump of cells" or "potential life". We were all once "a clump of cells", and we still are. Can you name one non-living thing with a heartbeat? There is none.

The level of development of a human does not detract from his/her rights. All lives matter!

The most common pro-choice argument is "My body my choice." Yes, your body your choice, but when it's not your body, it's not your choice. The baby has its own unique set of DNA, its own organs, its own limbs, brain activity and a heartbeat. Just because a woman carries a baby does not give her a right to end his/her life.

Some may say the fetus cannot survive on its own, but a 1 month infant cannot either. A one month old infant depends on the care of a mother or guardian, and if it were to be left without food or water, it would not be able to fend for itself. Someone on life support cannot survive without the incubator. Elderly people with dementia depend on the care of staff in senior centers for survival.

The parasite argument is also a common one. Basic biology can refute this one. An unborn child in the womb is not a parasite, because for it to be a parasite it would have to be a different species than the mother, which would cause an adverse immune response.

"Everyone has the right to choose," is found on almost every pro-choice protest sign, and yes I agree. You have the right to choose to do whatever you want, but the second your actions harm another human's rights, a line must be drawn.

A women's right to choose ends when her baby's right to life begins.

Another common argument that is condescending towards pro-lifers is that they are pro-birth but not pro-life. Tell that to the thousands of pro-lifers adopting multiple children, giving them the best possible life. Tell that to the people outside of planned parenthood with signs that say "I will take your baby." Tell that to the numerous churches helping pregnant women. Tell that to the government who is giving single mothers tax breaks, food stamps and countless other resources.

The foster system may be flawed, but that is not justify ending the life of a child. More than 18,000 American families successfully adopt newborn babies in the United States every year.

Regardless, suffering is inevitable; you cannot end a child's life because he/she will live a difficult life. Instead, legislation should be passed to improve the foster care system and the adoption process. When a child is not aborted there is always hope, a chance, a possibility.

Some "pro-lifers" say, "I am pro-life for my body, but pro-choice for everyone else". This reasoning fails in many ways. You never hear anyone say, "I would never abuse my child, but I would never take away a parent's choice of if they want to abuse their child or not". Being pro-life means advocating for the defenseless, which means every single child, not just your own.

Women can do whatever they want with their lives, as long as their actions do not end the heartbeat of another human being.

All over social media, you see people sharing posts that say the women will be sentenced to 99 years of jail for having an abortion and 30 years for a miscarriage, but this is false. Often celebrities are the ones using their platforms to share these false statements. People should also fact-check the things they see on Instagram before believing them.

One line all pro-choicers say is "No uterus, no opinion". Let's not forget the people who made abortion legal were old, white men. This line is hypocrisy at its finest. If the line was "No prostate, no opinion", World War III would break out.

Most people are outraged by the fact that majority of the politicians who signed the heartbeat bill in Georgia were men, but let us not forget that Georgia residents vote for these representatives knowing the policies they advocate for. Around 40% of Americans are pro-life, and around 40% of women are pro-life, but these percentages are significantly greater in Conservative states, which explains the election of conservative representatives in Georgia and Alabama.

Pro-choicers often paint an image of pro-lifers as men who want to control the bodies of women, but that could not be any further from the truth. Abortion allows men to use women and not be held responsible for the consequences. Banning abortion teaches men responsibility and loyalty.

The purpose of the pro-life movement is not to control a woman's body but rather grant an innocent, unborn child the fundamental right to life.

Regardless of my pro-life stance, I do believe abortion should be allowed in RARE cases; for example, when the mother's health is in danger.

I agree these anti-abortion bills put a lot of stress on the mother, so I am all for increasing the involvement of the father. Whether it be increasing the amount and frequency of child support payments or making the father co-parent, it takes two to create a child, so the father should pull his weight.

Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. once said, "Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate."

This article is not meant to shun anyone who has had an abortion or is pro-choice. I respect your stance 100 percent. The purpose of this article is to address the social media bias towards liberal views of abortion and the stigma of leaning toward the right on abortion. There is no one right answer to this debate. It is not always black and white; that is why the abortion debate has been going on for decades.

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