What Feminism Really Is

Excuse Me, But Feminism Is WHY You Can Be A House Wife In The First Place

So thank a feminist.

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With the recent Midterm elections women passed many milestones including the two first Muslim women voted into Congress, the two first native women voted into congress, the first black woman voted into Congress for Massachusetts and Connecticut, the youngest woman voted into Congress, the first woman senator for Tennessee, the first black Attorney General for New York, the first lesbian mother voted into Congress, and so many more.

Women are taking over politics and they are no longer staying quiet and changing their lives themselves.

That being said, even with such amazing advances the topic of feminism and what it means for women and this country are being tainted with false ideas and concepts. Feminism can be traced to 24 centuries ago. It is not a new concept. It is not a new idea. However, it is being "mansplained" and twisted into something that it's not. And the worst thing? A large majority of those that are tainting it are women. So ladies and gentlemen sit back while I tell you what Feminism actually means.

Feminism means equality.

There is still a major pay gap in this country between men and women. That pay gap is even larger between whites and minorities. Feminism fights not just for equal pay, but also equal opportunities, equal treatment, and equal credibility. Plain and simple, feminism fights for equal rights. For all. All races of women, all religions of women, all sexual orientations of women, all classes of women. Yes, that even means the women who choose to stay home and take care of the house and kids. The whole point of feminism is that you have the CHOICE to stay home and watch your kids and the house if that's what you want to do. The reason why many women don't want to is that up until, not so long ago, women weren't allowed to do anything but stay home and watch the kids and clean the house. Then again, that is their choice. We have that choice now thanks to feminists.

Feminism means strength.

With the #MeToo movement there is a lot of back and forth on whether it is empowering women or weakening them. Feminism is there to empower women to voice what they feel is right or wrong. This does not, however, mean that everything a woman says should be taken as the truth, or a law because no human being should have that power. Women are still humans and are still at fault of lying or cheating. That being said, for centuries the woman's account or story has not mattered, or been swept under the rug. So for now, we're going to be a little loud and angry. Sorry, not sorry because feminism does still mean equality, that does not mean that men should be silenced or ridiculed for showing emotions. As long as it is not harmful or degrading of course. Which brings me to my final point.

Feminism helps men too.

Feminism doesn't just work for women, although that is the man mission. But it's not possible to change things for women without changing things for men. The way men behave and think is also influenced by society and education. So to change the root of the problem is an extremely effective way to make a long-lasting, and drastic change. Men need mental health education, sex education, and society needs to also change how we men aren't allowed to show emotions. No emotions mean no compassion, no compassion means no change. Also, gay or trans men need the help of feminism. They are our allies, who are also being victimized and treated terribly by the misogynistic society that we live in.

With the change that is already taking place to aid women, we can't be infesting the idea of change and progress with the words of hate and ignorance.

And for those white women, aged 40+ you need to realize that the votes you are making are affecting your fellow women and the minorities of this countries. Use that voice you have to make your own choice, not following the voice of those that aren't being affected.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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