Today I wanted to write on something that has been a highly discussed topic within the world lately. I wanted to address the issue of feminism and what it means in today’s society. The UN had the opportunity to actually form and publicize their new movement called “He for She”, with Emma Watson spearheading it and introducing it into the world. With this sudden support from the largest political group in the world, partnered with a well known, highly regarded actress and activist, the platform was wide and has created a lot of leverage and awareness to the cause.
As a female of this generation, I support feminism. However; as of late, there have been more and more Anti-Feminism movements; women of all ages claiming that they do not need or even WANT feminism. If you are not familiar with the Anti-Feminism movement, their main platform is that in order to obtain equal rights, they do not require special treatment because special treatment is not equality. In other words “We can do it on our own, just as you have.” As much as I understand and appreciate their thoughts, one must realize that women do need help. And that is not said in a derogatory way, just a realistic way. For generations and generations women have been looked down on, treated differently, and thought of as lesser or weaker than the man. The only thing that a feminist movement is aiming to do, is right these wrongs made so many years ago. People can still be stuck in their old ways and beliefs so it takes a little bit of trying, pushing and a lot of support, to jumpstart a new way of thinking. This new way being that women are EQUAL to men. If we break and bow to the pressures of Anti-Femisism, it will take women YEARS to begin earning the same wages as men, doing the same jobs. For far too long we have taken the Anti-Femisim approach, and it’s time to forge a new path and give women the support they need to eventually be on the exact same playing field as men.
This is a very important cause, but as Emma strongly states in her UN speech, it will take more than a few dedicated women. This cause calls for the support of men everywhere, to step up and realize the importance of this issue. It also has to be taught at a young age. I believe that this issue should be addressed to young men and women so that this ideal does not have to be taught at an older age, but rather have children grow up understanding the importance of equality.
In social media, there are a lot of young feminists fighting school dress codes, stating that it is not the girls fault if the male gets distracted by her bare shoulders or mid drift, that they should have the freedom to choose their outfits as they will and not be harassed, that it isn’t fair to send them home and risk their education just because the boys can’t focus. I saw a picture on twitter that actually sparked this entire post:
This read so so so very wrongly to me. These are NOT the goals, ideals or results set in place for a dress code. This is why young women are confused as to what it means to be a feminist, because of posts like this. THIS IS NOT WHAT WE ARE TELLING HER! Education is so important and is the goal in any school, but its not just to educate in a “book smart” way, but also to teach life skills, and what is to be learned from dress code is RESPECT. Women need to learn from a young age what is and isn’t appropriate and how to show respect for themselves and their bodies. This is not about equality, or refusing education to women, but about learning how to dress for success and living a life you can be proud of. If you do not respect yourself, how can you learn to respect others?
These types of statements are really what is killing the feminist movement. It is nothing more than aiming to provide women with the same rights as the common man. That is all. So please, do not distort, change, or shape this movement into something it is not. Educate yourself. Learn. Show your support to women and help us succeed. Don’t shy away from us just because you’re afraid we will take your jobs!
If you haven’t yet seen Emma’s brilliant speech, please take 13 minutes to watch and educate yourself. It is wonderful, just like her! Link to that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-iFl4qhBsE
Have a fantastic week and spread your love like an uncontrolled wild fire!