"I want you to forget it for this article, forget whether you agree or disagree with it, forget your roommates’ stance on it, and remember the bigger picture on how we should function as a society."
When I say forget the “F” word, I am not talking about the word that made your mother wash your mouth out with soap when you were a naïve five-year-old. I am talking about the “F” word that is becoming the dividing wall between females everywhere. That word is feminism; I want you to forget it for this article, forget whether you agree or disagree with it, forget your roommates’ stance on it, and remember the bigger picture on how we should function as a society. Remember to respect people- respect everyone: different races, genders, cultures, religions, etc. If we remember respect, we will eventually find our way back.
Lately, my Facebook feed has been filled with people sharing articles about how they do or do not believe in feminism. Personally, and proudly, I am one of those women who shared an article supporting feminism. But personally, and proudly, I also read the article you shared on not needing feminism and I respect your opinion. I do not agree with it entirely, but I’m willing to try and understand it, and I think people on both sides of the spectrum would appreciate you doing the same thing. Because honestly, it does not matter what your opinion is on the topic, it matters how you treat the people who do not see things like you do.
So maybe you don’t agree with Becky’s post, but that does not mean you have to delete her off Facebook and tell the rest of the Mom’s Club that she needs to be exiled. Maybe Ashley said something in class that really pissed you off, but instead of avoiding her point of view, sit with her at lunch and listen to her and respect what she has to say. It may be hard, but what is so cool about our society is that we have the right to say what we feel, and in order to honor that, we need to respect what others have to say, even when it is not in our favor.
As a society, we worked ruthlessly to express our opinions and not have consequences based off the Facebook post we recently shared. The fact that we have been able to advocate for gender, racial, religious equality (etc.) is something that we should be proud of. As soon as you decide to start bashing other’s opinions, such as calling them an embarrassment, a disgrace, or any other hurtful thing you can think of, you’re reverting back to a time where society was not so advanced, and that is a disgrace to all the work that people have done in the past.
The Women's March Commission states that their mission is to “support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships to create change from the grassroots level up.” To me, this mission statement is not just about feminism. It’s about respecting people and their point of view, and that is what I hope you do.
I hope you have your own opinions, march for what you believe in, exercise your right to vote, and learn about the topics you are passionate about. I just hope you do it respectfully and gracefully, because that’s how we should be as a society. Most of all, I hope you learn that other people have opinions, and that's okay.