I'm a Female Who is Sick of Other Females Putting Down Feminism

I'm a Female Who is Sick of Other Females Putting Down Feminism

Because it seems to be happening a lot lately
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Feminism - the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

If you are a female who says you are against feminism, according to its definition, you are saying that you don't think women should be treated as equal to men politically, economically, and socially. Being a woman myself, I can't imagine why any woman would say that females should be treated as lesser than men. If you believe that women have an equal place in society, then you are a feminist, by definition (and yes, men can be feminists, too).

Lately, it seems that the word "feminist" is an insult. There's an article I've seen tossed around that makes some troubling points about why the author thinks the modern feminist movement isn't necessary, and how modern feminists worry too much about minute issues. It hurts me to hear other women put down a movement that represents them, especially when the need for feminism is still so great.

Middle-aged (and older) white males are deciding whether or not females are legally permitted to have abortions. Those same men try to make birth control less available to women or make that birth control outrageously expensive for their own profit. That's not equality.

Many women can't walk down the street alone without fearing for their safety. Those same women are being taught that they need to act and dress a certain way to avoid getting raped, while male rapists are not being rightfully punished by judges for fear of "ruining their future." That's not equality.

Women are called "bitches" when they speak their minds and take leadership roles. Those same women work hard to make their own way in the world, only to be criticized for wrecking the familial structure by men who feel their masculinity is being threatened by intelligent and successful women. That's not equality.

Men can talk about women in a degradingly sexual way and it be dismissed as "locker-room talk" because "boys will be boys." Those same men can become the President of the United States, even after being accused of rape several times. That's not equality.

Women should not have to live with these standards and be satisfied. Just because things are better now than they have been before does not mean that they can't be even better than they are now. The movement does not become invalid just because some women don't think that their lives are affected dramatically by sexism.

I experience sexism firsthand. I'm not content with being treated like I can't possibly be as smart as a male. I'm not content with being catcalled when I play a male-dominated sport just because the guys want to buffer their egos. I'm not content with that uncomfortable feeling of being surrounded by all males while they crack offensive jokes. I don't think any woman should be content with that. This is why feminism matters.

And the arguments that people often make against feminism fly in the face of the real goals of the movement. Yes, women and men are biologically different. Each and every human being is biologically different. Does that mean that equality is unachievable? No, it means that it is even more important. Feminism does not ask that women and men compete equally in sports. It does not ask that men be forced to experience the pains of having a period once a month. It asks that women and men be seen on the same level intellectually, economically, and in their importance to society.

And chivalry? It lives. Feminism does not feel insulted when men hold doors for women. It does not refuse to allow men to pay for dinner. It embraces the respect that gentlemen choose to show to women. It only rejects the idea that women should be treated as fragile, dependent on males, and incapable of paying for their own meals. Chivalry should come from a place of respect, not from the idea of female inferiority. That is all feminism asks.

Feminists believe that men and women deserve to be treated equally - not the same, but as equals. And I hope that the women who put down this idea realize that we are not fighting against men, but for women. By putting down the movement for unrelated reasons, it belittles feminism's true purpose. It is not a movement rooted in hate; it is rooted in love for women and men alike. It is a movement that embraces all of humanity and wants each and every person to have an equal voice. It fights for you, whether you ask it to or not.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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We Need To Call the Waffle House Shooting What It Is: White Terrorism

Ignoring the racial and political aspects of recent shootings only treats the symptoms, not the root cause.
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In my Environmental Ethics class, we talked about the idea of a "non-place" - industrialization leading to places that are the same no matter where you go, where you know what to expect each time. You walk in and each is a carbon copy of the last.

The core idea behind making each identical is that no matter where you are, you know what you can expect. Its familiarity is its comfort – you are home, even if it's somewhere you've never been.

But the effect only stands part of the time: as we've seen recently, many public places have been the setting for mass murder.

One of the most recent shootings covered to varying degrees in the news took place at a Waffle House in Nashville. While the shooting has been covered in basic terms, objective reporting removes an integral degree of what this violence means for its victims.

Everyone involved in the Waffle House shooting was in their 20s. Everyone shot was a person of color.

The shooter had a history of supporting Trump and his ideologies, in addition to a record of both racist views and run-ins with the government.

The AR-15 that was used in the shooting was previously taken from him in one of the run-ins, though the government returned the rifle to his father with the promise that he would keep the gun from his son. He gave the gun back to his son sometime between the run-in and the shooting.

The Waffle House shooting exemplifies white privilege and white terrorism in how the shooter has been treated and how people of color, especially black people, are targeted both by civilians and by enforcement.

The shooter's bond, which was later revoked, was widely publicized in contrast with the release of rapper Meek Mill two days later, who was not given bond when he was originally arrested last year for a much lesser charge than murder.

Multiple acts of white terrorism, including the Charleston church shooting, the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and the Waffle House shooting, were curtailed with the perpetrator arrested and unharmed.

Cops can nonviolently restrain, but only do so when the arrestee is white.

If the person is black, they will be targeted for living. They will be targeted for golfing too slowly. They will be targeted for giving change to the poor. They will be targeted for standing in their own backyard.

Racism and police brutality go long before the past few years, but the increase is unignorably tied to the current administration.

One of the Waffle House shooter's previous government run-ins was because he wanted to meet Trump.

Multiple other recent terrorists, including the Stoneman Douglas shooter, expressed wide support for Trump and his beliefs. The president himself said he could shoot someone and get away with it.

Taurean Sanderlin, Joe Perez, DeEbony Groves and Akilah DaSilva have their names remembered with love because they victims of this tragedy.

The two injured - Shanita Waggonerand Sharita Henderson - are remembered because they survived.

James Shaw Jr., who wrestled the gun away from the shooter, is remembered as a hero, even as he was humble in the aftermath: saying in an interview, “He was going to have to work to kill me.

He is remembered as a hero because he kept more from dying, but in another situation, another non-place, he could've been the men who were arrested in Starbucks.

It doesn't even have to be a non-place.

He could be any number of names from any number of places that have been carved into remembrance for fear of forgetting what #BlackLivesMatter stands for.

Multiple articles following the Waffle House shooting have said that the main detail unknown about the event is the shooter's motives. I don't think that's something we'll ever explicitly find out, but it doesn't take a detective to see the trail.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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