Feminism, by definition, is the desire that men and women have equal rights. In the past 10 years however, it seems that feminism has become a dirty word and has been associated with “man-hating” when this is not the case at all. HeForShe is a feminist movement, advocating for both equal rights for men and women. Therefore, the object of the movement is to help achieve equality for both men and women. In my opinion, women do not usually earn as much as men in most societies, but that is largely due to the fact of the lifestyle choices and natural inclinations they have selected for themselves. However, even though no action is required to change the pay women receive, steps need to be taken for the basic human rights for women and the respect that women deserve.
To begin, pay is not an issue for women. There are several variables that affect the claim of the “23 cents” gap factoid. This factoid states that women, on average, make 77 cents to every one dollar a man makes. However, several variables are not taken into account for this fact. Research by the Department of Labor shows that on average, women do indeed make 23 cents less, however this is largely due to the choices that women make. Payment in general depends on the certification, experience, and skill that people have, thus it is no different in this circumstance. Economist Betsey Stevenson also states that many variables factor into that statistic, agreeing that it all depends on choices. Unfortunately, some workplaces will still pay women unfairly just because of their gender. However, it is not as drastic as it seems, and is not as widespread as the 23 cent factoid implies. But, by breaking down the gender stereotypes and and advocating for equal rights, eventually unfair payment due to gender will disappear.
Furthermore, change is needed now for advocation of equal rights. Even though payment for women is more equal and just that it seems, there are a multitude of aspects that must be changed in society. As stated earlier, feminism is for both men and women, and both genders are in dire need of it. Stereotypes for men are detrimental to the health of both men and women. For one, men feel that they can never be vulnerable or show weakness, and by doing this they are harming themselves and everyone around them. Because men feel the need to be aggressive, women feel that they must be submissive. By breaking down stereotypes such as this one, more freedom will be given to both genders.
The breaking down of stereotypes will apply to many parts of society that must be changed. What is left of unequal payment will become equal because men will no longer feel that they must pay less to women because of their gender. Even when unequal payment is resolved, many challenges still await for women to overcome. This year alone, 15.5 million girls will be married, as children. If action is not taken, it won’t be until 2086 that rural African girls have access to a secondary education. Action must be taken.
Overall, feminism should not have a negative connotation, it is advocating for the equal rights for all, thus benefiting everyone. Beginning with breaking down stereotypes, this will allow everyone to be free to be as they wish to be. Leading to changes in society for all, but especially for women and the respect and equal rights that they deserve. Afterall, Rome wasn’t built in a day.