8.25.2015

YOUTH Voice: Girl Defends/Explains Feminism in Under 1,000 Words!

By: Kelly Mulrooney ( a feminist/ female / decent human!)




What is Feminism?












( Special thanks to Merriam-Webster for defining that for us! )

So, now that everyone knows feminism literally means gender equality, hopefully that'll clear up some of the uncertainty and prejudice surrounding the word.

Why do we need feminism? Not you, him/her, or I need feminism, but we need it--not just as Americans, or whatever else one might identify as, but as human beings. Equality is essential to happiness. It's a necessity. Now let's get down to the nitty-gritty.


Intersectional and Inclusive Feminism


Feminism isn't really feminism if it isn't inclusive and intersectional. Professor Kimberley Crenshaw pegged the term "intersectionality".  What it means is that to be a feminist you must want equality for all women. Not every woman experiences the same kind of oppression because each woman is unique and one of a kind. Women of different race, ability, sexual orientation, religion and age experience varying degrees of discrimination.
Feminism that inspires change and betters the lives of women is feminism that  can be molded to each individual, rather than a "one size fits all" type of deal. You can't proclaim to want equality for women but then be silent when it comes to issues of race. Feminists must acknowledge and combat racism! Women of color will undoubtedly face harsher and different types of discrimination not only on the basis of sex, but also race. Feminism is inclusive. It applies to all races and sexualities and is trans-inclusive. As feminists, we must acknowledge the different hardships and discrimination different types of women face and always keep an open mind.
                                       
Gender Pay Gap
It is the twenty-first century and women are still paid less than men. Hispanic and African American women are paid even less due to their gender and race. 

The pay gap varies from state to state, but in every state the gap exists. 

- Typically Caucasian women make 78 cents to every dollar a man makes

- African American women make 64 cents to every dollar a man makes 

- Hispanic women make 54 cents to every dollar a man makes

Empowerment
Feminism is also about female empowerment. Female empowerment isn't female dominance or superiority. Empowerment is positive. There is nothing menacing about female empowerment. A gender that has inarguably been oppressed throughout their existence deserves empowerment and a world with equality requires just that. Female empowerment can be something inspired by one's self or something inspired by others. It can even be something as small as empowering yourself to try out for a sports team or join a club or make a club or something as major as running to be the first female president!

Bodies
Women should be able to be fearless with their bodies and dress however makes them feel confident. If a gal chooses to wear minimal clothing and feel like a bad bitch, then she should be able to do that without worrying about a man feeling "entitled" to her. If a woman dresses "sexy," it should be understood that she isn't doing it for anyone else but herself. However, women should also feel confident covering up as much as they'd like without feeling like "prudes", or that somehow because they choose to cover up they're embarrassed about their bodies. A gal can be equally as bad bitchin' in a lot of clothes as she is in a little bit of clothes! It's all up to her!

Sex!
When comparing men and women there is an undoubted hypocrisy surrounding sex. Men are applauded and glorified for their sexual encounters, while women are shamed for theirs. Girls are taught from a young age that they are not the sexual beings that boys are. Sex is just a part of being a "man"--it's natural--but for girls sex is supposed to be something sacred. A boy "takes" a girls virginity and somehow after that moment, that one boy has forever changed her. Sex should be whatever one wants it to be and and shouldn't be associated with antiquated gender roles.

Boiz
Guys also face discrimination! Do not be fooled--feminism is a fight for equality and not everything is perfect in a man's world. Feminists (both men and women feminists) care about issues that affect men! Feminists actively try to combat the f'd up prison system which hyper-indicts racially profiled American citizens, more than often by poorly trained and aggresive police men and women. Rape, whether the victims are male or female, is an issue frequently addressed by feminists. There is undoubtedly representation of issues that affect men in feminism, but due to the fact that the fight is for equality in a society that has opressed and discriminated women througout their entire existence, making the fight heavily about men's issues would be retroactive. Women have a little catching up to do in the human rigths department. It's like the saying "all lives matter": all lives do matter, but due to the fact that currently African Americans have been subject to brutal discrimination and oppression, it's necessary for the spotlight to shine upon the injustices endured by African Americans, just as it is for the spotlight to be on women's issues.

                        


Feminism cannot be "destroyed." Feminism is equality. It is the good in the world, it is the future, the good fight, something to be proud to identify with. Feminism is for everyone. It's 100% inclusive! Just because you don't identify as a woman doesn't mean feminism isn't for you. It is the fight for EQUALITY. If you condemn feminism you are condemning equality and you are claiming to want male superiority, just to make it perfectly clear for all those out there who say they aren't "feminists".  There is nothing to be afraid of. 




Fight the good fight! Be a feminist!

links to definition!
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism 



1 comment: