Our Role as Feminists

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I was having a talk with one of the work-studies at the Women’s Center about “feminists” and how people oftentimes associate this term with “man-hating, angry, loud, dominating, non-shaving” women who are always complaining about the inequalities between men and women.  As we chuckled at this horrible depiction, we did agree that there are still a lot of inequalities between the genders.  Given this truth, why are feminists looked at in such a negative manner?

Believe it not, all feminists are not like the man-hating stereotype.  In fact, I think the objective of most of the feminists “complaining” about gender inequality is to bring the issue to the forefront.  By bringing attention to these issues and being relentless in our fight, conversations begin to happen and policies get changed hat bridge the gender gap and level the playing field between men and women. 

For example, many of the issues that feminists support pertain to women’s legal rights, such as voting rights and property rights.  Where would women be today if our first wave feminists hadn’t fought for these rights?  Feminists have also been effective at challenging the media’s influence on negative body image and promoting healthy, self-awareness and self-esteem for women and girls.  Additionally, many feminists have championed causes to create policies to protect women and girls from domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.  And finally, feminists have led the fight to bring equity to the workplace including equal pay and ending sex discrimination. 

 So you see not all feminists come together to hate men or to burn their bras or whatever other false accusations that are being spread.  We are here to be a voice for women’s issues and concerns and to achieve equality with our male counterparts.  Don’t misunderstand me, I clearly see the need for men in our society, but I want society to recognize that, although we need men, we also need women.  Both sexes are equally valuable to society.  Until society completely accepts that, feminists will continue to speak up for women for as long as it takes.

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It’s an interesting often promoted issue about the right for women to vote. If you look at the history of the vote you will find that to begin with the vote was only for the elite in society and not for any so called common person.
    It took 200 years of political fighting for the vote for the commoner male… once that was established it only took 10 years for the right for women to vote to be established.

    On another note, what is something not to chuckle about in regards to gender issues is that rate of male victims of domestic violence by females that society doesn’t acknowledge and many feminists groups try to cover up.

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