Feminism is often seen as an unnecessary cry for attention. It's given a bad rap due to misconceptions and people being uneducated. We've seen the history of oppression women once faced of being mistreated and held to a lower standard than men. We are now at an interesting place in history where women have rights and in many walks of life are viewed as capable as men but the crippling stereotypes of the genders remain and only continue to worsen. They have a substantially damaging effect on the way women and men view themselves and the roles they feel pressured to take on. There are several things we see in everyday life that are as a result of the tainted image society has portrayed of men and women.
A stay-at-home mom is viewed as strong, while a stay-at-home dad is seen as lazy. A working mother is selfish and a working father is the bread winner. A young girl is taught in school, at an incredibly early age that her body is sexualized and she is in the wrong if she doesn't cover up to prevent the temptation. In doing so she is shown that her education is less valuable. It is not her fault yet it is made out to be her fault. Rather than teaching boys to respect women we teach girls to change because it's their responsibility to make men more comfortable. A married woman is viewed as defiant and disrespect if she chooses to hyphenate or keep her last name. A woman who has been sexually assaulted is given a list of ways she could’ve avoided the situation, she is taught that it is her fault. Women are cat-called and harassed in the most innocent, everyday situations as a result of the sexualized image society has placed on women.
At some point in your life you've encountered some if not all of those stereotypes. It is undeniable that our society is flawed in more ways than one. At the root of it we still continue to view men and women in different lights. We've made remarkable progression over the years in attempts to level the playing field for both men and women yet the wrongful ways of thinking still continues to make an impact. Everyday our society has an underlying tone of the oppression women once faced. At one point in history women were valued entirely based upon their beauty. Men were at one time more significant than women in more ways than one. We advanced and we’ve shut down that incorrect way of thinking but our work towards true equality is far from over.
Sexism doesn't discriminate, it goes both way with women and men. Men are pressured to be strong in every situation. God forbid they show emotion that would be an embarrassment and considered unmanly of them. Women are viewed as weak and fragile yet if they express too much confidence they are seen as bossy and outspoken. We are accepting the unacceptable. We are saying it is okay to treat people unfairly due to their genders. We are setting up for the future generations to face the same, if not worse oppression.
Feminism is a fight against the constant stereotypes and unacceptable treatment and standards placed on both men and women. We're in this together in order to raise a generation of greater people who can look past the skin-deep differences and see people for who they really are and what they have to offer. Feminism is not limited to only women. It is a fight for a fair chance and to once and for all identify as a race of people rather than separate genders with different responsibilities. We deserve better and we have the power to make a change. If not for yourself, do it for the little girls and boys that will grow up feeling inadequate because of the prejudice face of society that we continue to ignore.