Feminism: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.
For some reason, there has been such a stigma around feminism and anyone who associates themselves with it lately. Women definitely have more rights now than we did a few decades ago, but that doesn't mean the fight for equality is over. So many people think feminism means women want more power than men, or that they want the roles of the 1950s to be reversed, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Any legitimate feminist, myself included, will tell you that we want equality: nothing more, nothing less. Just for the record, this does not only account for women gaining more rights.
When people hear the term, 'feminism,' they often only think about how it will be of use to women. Obviously when feminism started, women had way less rights than men, but now that things are a bit more equal, feminism helps both sexes. Men are seen as tough people who don't have feelings, or at least shouldn't show any signs that they do. When I think about this, I am completely astonished. Men and women have different hormones, but that doesn't change the fact that everyone is human and has the right to embrace any emotion they are feeling. I hate that when a man cries, he is considered weak, or when a woman cries, everyone automatically jumps to the conclusion that it must be "her time of the month." This may seem crazy, but how about we let anyone, regardless of their genitals, feel any emotions they want.
"I don't identify as a feminist because I support equality." Feminism is not reverse sexism. Feminism is equality. The reason it is known as feminism is because of how extremely repressed women used to be. Things have leveled out to an extent, but there are still some inequalities that need to be fixed. Many years ago, feminism truly did only benefit women. Even though it now helps everyone, people don't always realize this and only support equality, not feminism. It blows my mind that in 2018, there are still women who don't consider themselves to be feminists. By doing this, you are literally saying you're totally fine with inequality of the sexes, but because of the stigma around the word feminism, you just don't realize it. Is there a difference between five $1 bills, and one $5 bill? No, so why do people still see a difference between feminism and equality?
In 1872, Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for president, and over 100 years later, every United States president has still been a man. There were a select few women who challenged society's norms and ran for president, but it is still true that the majority of presidential candidates have been male. In college, I plan to major in political science and go to law school afterwards. I want to be involved in politics in some way as an adult because I just find it interesting. My end goal is to run for president at some point, and while this sounds like the most generic goal ever, it's obviously possible, because someone has to do it, and at the rate our country is going, it just might be possible for me to be the first female president. I truly don’t understand how we go from almost taking a huge step in the right direction and having our first female president, to electing one of the most sexist, bigoted, and arrogant men I have ever seen in my life. I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of the misogyny we deal with on a daily basis in our country.
Feminists in history have worked so hard for the rights women have today, but if we let it end here, we are wasting everything they’ve fought for. We need to forget about the stigma surrounding feminism and continue to fight for equality. Remember, feminism doesn’t only benefit women. Feminists fight for women’s rights, men’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, rights based on race, and rights based on religion. We fight against rape culture. We fight against body-shaming. We, as a whole, believe in equality, and people just being happy as they are. There is no need to not consider yourself a feminist unless you truly don’t believe in equality for everyone