This Is Feminism
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Politics and Activism

This Is Feminism

What feminism is and how it can help everyone.

This Is Feminism
Annie Craig

Contrary to popular belief, feminism is not about hating men or weakening the male sex. It is rather about leveling the playing field and promoting equality between genders. Men should not, at all, feel threatened by feminism. The title may be off-putting to some, but remember all humans are referred to as mankind. In all honesty, the sole goal of this movement is equality.

Let’s first begin with how this movement helps women. Women can be seen as equal instead of inferior. Maybe, finally, women’s salaries for doing the same jobs as men will be raised. Maybe there will be more women in scientific fields or as CEOs or in mathematical fields. Maybe more women will direct major motion pictures in Hollywood. Equal career opportunities for women are a core part of this movement and equal pay for these positions should be demanded. Another important part of this movement is explaining that women are not here to serve men or simply to pleasure them or so men can look at and touch. We are instead extremely capable of working alongside men for the betterment of society.

We, as humans, are all equally able to tackle any task put in front of us. Women are not property. Women are free to think, act, and feel just as men are. Women do not owe you anything. However, you being nice to a girl is no reason for her to remove you from the friend zone. You should, if you’re a civil human being, do that regardless of how sexually attracted to someone you are. Maybe, instead of teaching young boys that it’s a girl’s clothing that distracts them and causes them to react in such a way, we should teach them not to objectify women and not to judge girls based solely on what they wear.

This goes hand in hand with misconceptions about women in general and inequalities. Why is it okay and even praised for a man to be half naked on a magazine cover, but if a woman does the same thing, she’s called a slut and told to put clothes on? I don’t understand why so many people ask to see females' bodies and then are so outraged and disgusted when they do? Also, what is the deal with calling women sluts and whores just because of what they wear? That’s not cool, ever. What does it even mean to be prude? So what if you haven’t lost your virginity? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. So what if you have lost your virginity? It doesn’t make you any more or less cool so don’t let anyone tell you any different.

Why are women held to such a high standard of beauty? If a woman isn’t made exactly by the media’s standards of beauty, then she’s not considered beautiful? There women of different heights, weights, cultures, hair colors, eye colors, and nationalities, and they are all equally beautiful. I believe there should be a focus when girls are young to teach them that they are all beautiful and not that they have to look a certain way to be that. I especially think this needs to be stressed during the preteen and teenage years when most girls’ opinions of themselves worsen.

However, I do not believe that society should simply focus on women’s looks. Women have physical and mental strength just as men do and I think that also needs to be magnified. I think women being chefs and body builders and contractors should be pushed just as much as women as actresses and models. A woman can achieve any goal or position desired. The corporate and political worlds should not live by outdated standards saying that only men can hold such positions. Also, I think in middle and high school girls should be encouraged to pursue STEM fields in an attempt to diversify these. Many girls in this age group shy away from such a path for fear that boys “won’t like them” or will feel inferior to them because of their level of intelligence. If a man is not willing to see a woman as his equal, then he is certainly not a man she needs in her life. Young ladies, please do not let the fragility of a man’s masculinity deter you from reaching your goals. We shouldn’t encourage the use of slurs like slut and whore. That makes men think it is okay to refer to women as such, which will never, in any way, be okay. I know that all women are not always going to get along, that’s just a fact of life.

We, as women, should attempt to congratulate and encourage one another instead or tearing each other down. Women may come from different financial situations, have different political views, be of different races of ethnicities, heights, weights, eye colors, or may not have been born women at all, but if we are all women now, that's what's really important. We must try our very hardest to empower other women. Feminism should be here for the young girls and women that are forced into marriage or sold into human trafficking all over the world. There is no reason an 11-year-old girl should be married to a 40-year-old man, but in some countries, that happens. All girls should be allowed to choose when they marry, if at all, and to whom. No one should be forced into a lifelong partnership unless they are 100 percent sure it’s what’s best for them and no one else. And shame on any family member that would put a young girl in a situation such as that.

Now, let us discuss the ways in which feminism helps men. When you hear the word feminism everyone assumes that women want to elevate themselves above men. That is not at all the case. Meninists seem to be all for bashing feminism but never seem to speak out on any issues that concern men. Where are the meninist ideals on helping transgender men, men of color, male rape victims, LGBTQ+ men, men with disabilities, or any non-straight cis white male in his efforts for equality? Oh wait, that’s right, they’re nonexistent. I have seen instances where a man has been raped and instead of coming to the aid of that man, other men say things like, "Wow, she's attractive! I wish I could get raped too!" That's ridiculous and disgusting. Those words should never be uttered. I've also heard men say, "Well, she was drunk, what did she expect?" when talking about female rape victims. I don't think anyone expects to be sexually assaulted just because they've had a few drinks. I have also heard of many instances where meninists reject the opinions of trans men because they, and I quote, "Aren't real men." What about men of color? I don't really see any meninist campaigns coming out and saying that they support men of color, nor do they talk about issues that men of color may face, such as wrongful accusations, higher conviction/incarceration rates, and police brutality. Lastly, I've seen firsthand how many straight men do not accept gay or bisexual men. They say disrespectful things like "Oh, so who's the guy and who's the girl in your relationship?" or "If you like men at all, you're gay, that's it." That's so cruel and I will not stand by for the erasure of a man's gender simply because he's not cisgender, or his sexuality simply because he isn't straight.

The sole purpose of meninism, from what I've gathered, is to tell feminists how dumb and stupid they are and that they only exist to serve men in the kitchen, by cleaning, and by pleasuring them sexually. In my opinion, these are not men at all, but rather beasts that should cease to exist. If a man feels threatened by the idea of a self-sufficient woman, then he is not a man at all. If his idea of masculinity means that he has to physically dominate a woman, then he, indeed, is the most cowardly “man” I’ve ever encountered.

I also do not think the patriarchal ideals of the workforce and the school system should continue. Girls are told to go home or change or “cover up” simply because boys cannot control their sexual urges. That should not be. Do not penalize women because they are being objectified. Men still consistently earn more for doing the same jobs as women. Any man who is actually good at his job should not feel threatened by women wanting equal opportunity for jobs. Instead of competing against other men, they would also be competing against women for a job which then companies could truly hire the best candidate.We should all be evaluated on a level playing field. I do not understand the male need for domination. Why do some men think that raping women is okay? The way she is dressed, how much makeup she is wearing, what she’s drinking, or how much she’s drinking is no excuse for your behavior. If she did not specifically ask you to have sex with her then you shouldn’t. End of story.

Also, I do not appreciate men who make fun of other men for being emotional. Being emotional does not make him less of a man, it simply makes him human. Judging him for it doesn’t make you more of a man but instead makes you rude and a coward. I cannot understand why anyone would want someone that they cannot share their emotions with. Also, I do not understand the appeal of a man who doesn’t value your opinions or you as a human being. No man is above any other man, no man is above any woman, and no woman is above any man. Men who make rape jokes are extremely undesirable and almost as bad as actual rapists. Things like this should not be tolerated.There shouldn’t be qualifications to being masculine or feminine, nor should positive or negative connotations exist on either of those words. Masculinity does not equal being male. To be a man you simply have to identify as one. Women can be masculine, men can be feminine, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with either of those things. I would like to point out, however, that there are quite a large number of men who stand with women and would consider themselves male feminists. To you, I say thank you, and yes, we know you're out there and we appreciate you so much. But please, to all the gross meninists out there, either accept and fight for men of color, LGBTQ+ men, male rape victims, or any other group on non-Christian, non-cis, not straight, not white men or feminists will gladly take your place.

Speaking of femininity and masculinity, what about those who do not identify with either gender? Feminism is here for the gender fluid as well. While many aspects of feminism do have a lot to do with gender, there are many more that simply involve being a person and wanting to be treated as such. Feminists are not, or shouldn’t be, here to make you choose a gender. Instead, we are proud that you are you and want you to have the same rights as someone who identifies as a single gender. What about those transgender individuals? They deserve to be respected, as do all other people. Whether you personally agree with it or not, which I’m not sure why you would disapprove of someone else’s choice to transition so they feel comfortable, you should be courteous and use correct pronouns. Whatever pronouns they request, those are the ones you should now associate with that person. Because no matter what, they are still just that, a person. This aligns completely with the aims of feminism, treating all people as people.

Anyone struggling with, attempting to discover, or identifying as any sexuality other than straight should be protected at all costs. While rights are the goal of feminism, so is love. Feminism is about promoting love and getting everyone to accept the differences of everyone else through the offering of fair opportunities. Love is love no matter who it is between. No one should be discriminated against because of who they love. Feminism fights for the rights of all who are oppressed, including the LGBTQ+ community. Please consider feminism for what it is: a beautiful, all-encompassing movement.

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

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