Feminism Defined


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For centuries, women have lived under the oppression of a man. Social propaganda promoted the “housewife life”, where the women’s only duty would be to cook, clean, and care for children. While temporary relief was given by allowing women to work during wars, women still received a lower salary compared to a man. Prior to the 1920s, women were denied the right to vote.

But, if someone hears you are a feminist, instantly the mental picture given is a hairy legged, man hating, ugly, whiny liberal woman.

Let’s get something straight here: the majority of feminists do not hate men, we hate the superiority given to men. It is not a vow to celibacy; it is a call to equality. There is an aching within every woman’s heart to one day be wooed by someone special, to spend all night talking to them on the phone with the silly “you hang up first” games. To one day open chocolates on Valentine’s Day and share a kiss on New Year’s Eve. But the thing about feminism is that we want equal saying in the marriage. We’re tired of the domestic abuse statistics that appear too often, and I think women have been targeted as the “punching bag” for too long. It is not an invitation to never shave legs or care about appearance; it’s a voice tired of social standards encouraging women to have the perfect hair, nails, makeup, skinny waist, and busty chest. Feminists do not hate the idea of one day having children, but if they do, it’ll be their choice to do so, not pressure from family, friends, co-workers, or society. There are a lot of women who would be great lawyers, engineers, doctors, or servicewomen; and we’re sick of hearing “hope you can find a husband with that job.” Romance is great, but it should never limit someone’s potential to achieve their dream career. Truth be told, we’re tired of women being shamed, and men being glorified.

Maybe one day we won’t get a negative connotation for standing up for basic rights. Maybe one day, something as essential as equality won’t be something constantly in debate. I believe in feminism because I want my future daughter to go to school without pressure from schoolchildren to have her first kiss before she’s thirteen. I want her to fall in love with a great guy one day, but I also want it to be her choice when, how, and if she decides to do so. I want my future daughter to choose whatever career she wants to, with equal pay for her hard work. Finally, I want my future daughter to realize that the feminist movement actually did something to change society – and that one day she can make the same impact.

 

Julia Schemmer

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