Why Identifying as a Feminist is Important
Start writing a post
Politics

Why Identifying as a Feminist is Important

The word "Feminist" is a word that many women don't feel comfortable describing themselves with. But why is it important?

495
Why Identifying as a Feminist is Important
https://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2018/01/09/636510731976542247-1626055763_o-FEMINISM-IN-2014-facebook.jpg

Since the establishment of traditional gender roles, the internalized oppression of women has only been increasing over time. In addition to this, women have abandoned feminist values in a time where they are the most in need. Since the number of passionate people is low on the topic of the rights and equal treatment of women, this only further develops the internalization of sexism in today’s society. Not only should women be observing these ideals, but men should join the cause to mend the division between the genders. In the socio-economic climate of the modern era, it has become more essential to understand the importance of feminist theory.

Internalized oppression is defined as, “when a member of an oppressed group believes and acts out the stereotypes created about their group”. Relating to the internalized oppression of women, examples can include the belief you have a place in society based on your sex; denying the oppression of women; being sexist in any form; participating in rape culture; feeling your purpose in life is to please men; and believing you are lesser of a person for being a woman. It seems that sexism is the most internalized form of oppression in today’s society. A poll conducted by the Washington Post surveyed 1,122 women and 488 men on whether or not they identify themselves as feminists. From the data, 60% of women and 33% of men identified as feminists. The data amongst men is unfortunate, but not shocking. Most men avoid labeling themselves as feminists because they feel demasculinized by the word, despite masculinity being a social construct. Although the rate of self-identifying feminists among women is higher, it shows that almost half of women avoid using the label. The reason is not humbling as it relates to the enforced competition for male attention among females, which is also a social construct.

Focusing on American society, women are expected from birth that their role as a female is to find a husband and have children. The product of this is a dehumanizing urge to be competitive with other females. Competition can be a good thing when it relates to personal success (i.e. accomplishments, money, jobs), but this form of competition caters to the attention of men. Not only is this competition unnecessary as a priority, but it robs women of the opportunity to make accomplishments, maintain empowerment, and develop social independence. Using this theory, the 40% of women who were either impartial or in rejection of a feminist identity think so because they are either afraid to compromise the attention that men give them, or patriarchal society has taught them that sexism doesn’t exist.

When discussing the principles of feminism, the term “bodily autonomy” often is a large conversation worth having. Bodily autonomy refers to the natural right to one’s physical self. Examples of a removal of bodily autonomy can include unwanted surgical procedures/organ harvesting; rape; and any restriction to contraceptives including abortion. Specifically regarding birth control and abortion, these services allow a woman to have control over her own body. Before birth control was legalized in the United States, if a woman got pregnant, she was then a slave both to her husband as well as to motherhood. Today, a woman is able to make her own choices in regards to her own body, but women still face conflicts with their spouses. Amongst males, a misconception that while in the womb, the baby is half theirs has deep faults. The baby is in fact half the fathers, but only biologically. Since the fetus resides inside the mother for nine months, the baby is physically part of the mother’s body until the umbilical cord is cut. Therefore, the ethics behind abortion dictate that the termination of the pregnancy be strictly of the mother’s choice. Some will say that, legally, the choice to have an abortion should be an equal decision. This idea is invalid because the health and wellness of the mother may be at stake, so the father of the child must not involve himself in this decision.

In the beginning of the 21st century, it seemed to some that feminism had lost its place in society, or that it’s values had become outdated. The reality of this is that feminism has a trend of rising during periods of societal trauma (Property/Voting rights; sexual abuse; wage inequality) towards women. Despite these instances of trauma being an offense to the female community, the buildup of feminine rage is always what drives every feminist movement in history. In the first wave of feminism, women built up rage and motivation for not being able to vote or own land, and eventually progress was made. Recently, numerous women have been coming out as rape survivors with the intent of serving justice to their abusers. This chain of accused men (cases of Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Dr. Luke) gives women the hope and confidence that their voice will be heard and resolution will become of their abuse. Sometimes, progress is made by your community being challenged to a point of great reformation, but we must use the word “feminist” to make that statement.

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

Ford Cars That We Love

There's a good chance we've all driven a Ford or spent a lot of time at Ford, but what are some of the best cars they've ever made?

2484
Ford Cars That We Love
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

There are arguably few bigger automakers than Ford. They are a company that shaped the auto industry as we know it today and with a solid reputation in the industry, our wide range of Ford leases has always been a popular choice among drivers.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Prose: One Call

What if you had one call, but you could not say anything other than what you were told to say? In this short excerpt, Bethany finds herself at odds with her jailers and with the one she was told to call, the one she loves. What would you do when the conversation takes a turn off script?

2994
Prose: One Call
https://unsplash.com/s/photos/jail

With each incessant numbing ring of the phone call, I could feel the betrayal coiling around me like the phone line, squeezing me tighter.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

65567
'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

89797
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

83717
Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments