Donald Trump has completely altered the dynamics of social interaction in the United States. Perhaps the most controversial man to take office has sent political ideologies into extremist identities.
In past years, as the presidential elections came to a close, both sides managed to shake hands and look towards a progressive 4-8 years to come. Our most recent president-elect was met with tears, outrage, and distress.
In the past 2 years that the Trump Administration has reigned over America, historical political movements have been made.
In every college classroom, workspace and social gathering, the same comment is made — "it's 2018, you can't do _____ anymore." Yes, it is 2018.
LGBTQ members have received new rights, women are taking on huge roles and people of color are making groundbreaking movements professionally and politically. Male makeup artists are literally "Coverboys," women — including WOC — and people of color are taking revolutionary political roles, but why are we feeling threatened now more than ever?
Divisiveness and the acceptance of the bare minimum will be the death of America. Men and women everywhere do not believe sexism exists in our contemporary society. In contrast to many other countries, American women can vote, work, drive, dress "however they please" and are protected by legislation.
Yes, I am allowed to work. Yes, I am allowed to vote. Yes, I am not confined to a dress code in a legal lens.
But, how can you tell me I can "work" when I am punished for crying during menstrual hell while on the clock?
My male colleagues spend every shift discussing how they would f*** that woman sitting at the bar, yet get off scot-free.
I can definitely vote, but why am I voting for my bare minimum reproductive rights that are about to be snatched away from me?
I am not legally forced to cover myself from head to toe, but somehow a short skirt is enough to chalk up rape to "sending mixed signals".
I have had the same conversation far too many times. I know far too many 18 to 21-year-old women with formal educations under their belt, endless funding for safety and security, and are surrounded by a progressive campus presence, and yet every one of them has a different rendition of a sexual assault tale.
As a university student, the resources are on every syllabus, the words "zero-tolerance" are shoved down our throats and the "respect women" moment has flooded social media. But just as I have finished reading your frat's "encouragement of consent" note at the bottom of your e-vite, I'm watching her cry over a glass of wine and begin her narrative with the words, "Me too".
Feminism is a movement that is looking to change societal norms that should be unacceptable. What our 2017 "meninists" need to understand is that sexism does not end at legality.
Prejudice does not end with suffrage and desegregation.
Prejudice is planted in ideology and attitudes and flourishes through action. I have met incredible men in my life that would never sexually assault a woman. My younger cousins are truly the loves of my life. My male professors are phenomenal professionals that I aspire to emulate in my career. The fact that I am a feminist does not influence my opinions of these characters in my plot line.
Being a young adult in this political climate has taught me one major lesson — the violence from our history is damage that I am responsible for today.
As a white woman, I understand the social responsibility I have. Though I have never sought out racial superiority, I recognize that I have inherent privilege because those that came before me did.
Rather than getting defensive, I utilize my stance in our contemporary society to argue for those whose voices often are ignored.
Because someone assuming I am a racist because of my skin color is nothing compared to being shot for no apparent reason. Furthermore, it is important to understand this intersectionality.
I am a white feminist, and I recognize that in this movement, I can use my privilege to support WOC.
Often times, people confuse "white feminism" or radical feminism for true feminism. True feminism fights for equality in all realms it is required. Just as every religion, belief, or ideology has extremist misinterpretations, feminism is often skewed by those in pursuit of gender superiority or ignorance to woman of all races.
In this feminist movement, we ask men to be mindful of misinterpretations and understand that true feminists want equality for all.
Though true feminists seek peaceful equality, life-altering events, such as the lack of sentencing for the Baylor student in recent news, do cause women to have bad tastes in their mouths towards men as a whole.
It is difficult not to generalize men in a fit of passion after devastating actions have been made that are blatantly patriarchal. This terror will melt into motivation for the movement that at its core uplifts women rather than completely deteriorates men.
We do not hate you, we are sick and tired of legislative loopholes that allow you to grope us at a party and make you believe that you have done nothing wrong.
Our society has allowed you to believe that unsolicited touching is not a sexual assault and that "locker room talk" ANYWHERE is nothing to be concerned about.
Respecting women is not summed up by the things you do not do to her.
Respecting women embodies the things you do actively as a person of undeserving power. Because feeling threatened by women uplifting women and receiving death threats because you are taking legal action years later, after being raped, is NOT the same thing.