Feminism Is Not For Sale
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Feminism Is Not For Sale

Explaining what gender equality is and is not

Feminism Is Not For Sale
Huffington Post

I walked into H&M today and came across some interesting finds. Feminist logos were splayed across a handful of shirts. Two opposing realities struck me at the same time: the first, being that the store was attempting to advocate for women in some manner; and the second, that such casual marketing was insidiously harming the cause of women’s rights in the first place.

The ease at which someone can buy a shirt and taut a viewpoint troubled me. Perhaps I am simply too jealous of my sex for my own good, but I was appalled. In that moment, I realized why feminism has become a household name. Like other popular ideas, the big-name companies encourage us to take large mouthfuls and digest with little thought. And the end result is a disillusioned young lady who is more focused on living for the idea of “feminism” as an end in itself than living for her own equality day by day.

The ultimate questions is this: who gets to define feminism for us? Certainly somebody who has a vested interest in the equality of the sexes, especially pertaining to women. And I think that the most vocal advocates for women should not be the media or some name brand t-shirt. Rather, it should be those who understand women the best- namely, a woman herself.

In order to combat this “false feminism” that it is easy to buy into-both figuratively and literally- I think it would be helpful to point out the real feminists. A true feminist lives her life with the expectation that, as a human being, she has the innate capacity to pursue her goals and to not fear that her achieving or failing is somehow based on her sex. A feminist believes that each individual, formed with the same God-given capacity to pursue intellectual and emotional intelligence, also posseses equal potential to attain opportunities as it relates to their giftedness as individual human beings. As a result, feminism is expecting nothing less than that men and women receive equal treatment as it pertains to their shared humanness.

Even so, feminism has become less about our humanity and more of an excuse for not accepting our womanhood. Some feminists have tried to embrace masculinity to the extreme, expecting society to call it womanly and beautiful. Others have tried to embrace their femininity by brazenly displaying their bodies to the world, a step that undermines our responsibility as humans to respect boundaries that were created in order to ensure privacy and dignity of our personhood. Both approaches do nothing to the intended purpose of feminism, which was to create equality between the sexes on grounds outside of the physical.

An objection arises here. If we do not discuss discrepencies over the physical, we may pass over pertinent issues such as objectification of women. In response, I would say that to stem any of these problems, we must first get to the heart of the issue. The essence of this inequality is a flawed idea about how our physical differences somehow merit different treatment. Yet in our truest form, we are both humans.

As human beings, both men and women should be cultivating character in all areas of life, regardless of how society pressures us to engage only in certain growth. By that, I mean that men should not be ashamed to be as sensitive as they are strong. Likewise, women should be as prepared to state their opinions, as they are open to compromise. This is a simple example, but consider how easy it is for you to fall into your gender’s stereotypical patterns of behavior. These tendencies do little to develop well-rounded people. How is this so? Regarding sensitivity for men, he will not gain as wide an understanding into the workings of other human beings or himself if he does not allow his heart to be as deeply touched as his mind. And to women- no woman can be quite certain what she believes for herself if she cannot confidently assert her conclusion to other humans, men or women.

Women, feminism must be the way that you engage your peers. Actions, not slogans, will speak volumes to what you truly believe about yourself as a woman. Be proud, not only that you are a woman, but that you are a human being created with innate value. Among your male counterparts, let your equality be the force that drives you to carry yourself with strength and dignity. We all know that the wage gap will not change overnight, so let us put more effort into something that we can change in a split second: our individual resolve to live, by speech and deed, as equals among the opposite sex and nothing less.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments