Young Girls Shouldn't Be Afraid Of Feminism
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Young Girls Shouldn't Be Afraid Of Feminism

Feminism is removing the phrase “like a girl” from our sons’ minds.

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Young Girls Shouldn't Be Afraid Of Feminism
Shannon Barker

As a young girl who grew up in the in the late 90s and 00s, I didn’t refer to myself as a “feminist” and I was revolted but such a term. Now, as a second semester freshman in college, I identify as a feminist and will openly refer to myself as such.

During high school was when I was initially introduced to the word and movement. To me, feminism was represented by all the women holding signs and protesting in the streets, however that wasn’t the reason I couldn’t stand it. I misunderstood the concept and had thought that the feminists wanted to take away all male rights, in a way, and give them to the females; rid the world of it’s masculinity, making the females have to uphold the standards and characteristics the men had previously held. I am a firm advocate for male chivalry such as men holding the door open for a lady, the boy offering to buy the meal on a date, the boy treating the girl like she’s as fragile as a piece of glass, etc. I don’t see those acts as demoralizing in any way shape or form, but a lot of women who refer to themselves as ‘feminists’ do, and that where I drew the line.

However, after reading and educating myself on the topic and the subcategories that extend from it, I’ve come to realize that the feminist movement and it’s beliefs are not just black and white; there’s a whole lot of gray area in the middle that is left up for the individual to decipher.

To me, feminism is fighting for women’s rights and the privilege to not be seen as inferior. No where does it say that to be viewed as an equal, we must be masculine; there’s a way to be both a female, and a valued human in society. Feminism is empowering young girls to be strong, confident, and fearless. Feminism is removing the phrase “like a girl” from our sons’ minds. A feminist is someone who is ready to take on the world, despite what obstacles are thrown her way or who tells her she can’t. A feminist can be someone who is very ‘girly’ and preppy or even someone who likes riding skateboards and wearing snapbacks.

What I’m trying to show you is that there is no single definition of a feminist that covers the broad range of beliefs, personalities, and opinions that encompass it. A feminist can be whoever you want it to be; male, female, transgender, or somewhere in-between. Let’s teach our sons to view the girls in their classes just like they would a boy, but to also be chivalrous and kind. Let’s teach our daughters to stand up for themselves and be brave and persevere when told that they aren’t strong enough, big enough, or fast enough to do something, but to not look down on men, and think they’re not necessary in this growing society, because they totally are.We can't do this without them, and vice versa.

Feminism promotes an equal, strong, and passionate society where no one gender is placed above another. The reason the title of the movement is derived from the word female is because throughout history, women have been in the background, as the men were believed to be the only ones who were smart, strong, and wise. So with that said, let’s raise our boys and girls the same way; teach them that gender is just one more characteristic that makes us unique individuals, and not something that defines who we are as humans.

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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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