Society faces feminism

ADVOCATE.+The+wage+gap+has+been+narrowing+%28thank+you%2C+feminism%29%2C+but+women+still+make+roughly+80+percent+of+a+man%E2%80%99s+dollar%2C+and+it+is+worse+for+some+women+and+men+of+color.+Hispanic+women+make+around+50+percent+of+a+dollar.+SHS%E2%80%99s+He+For+She+combats+the+stereotypes+feminism+faces+by+offering+the+space+to+be+a+feminist.

Allyson Bonhaus

ADVOCATE. The wage gap has been narrowing (thank you, feminism), but women still make roughly 80 percent of a man’s dollar, and it is worse for some women and men of color. Hispanic women make around 50 percent of a dollar. SHS’s He For She combats the stereotypes feminism faces by offering the space to be a feminist.

Is feminism dead? Is the battle over?

Women have won suffrage, are accepted into colleges, and hold executive positions. Lately, the exodus of sexual predators seems to signal a society that banishes all who do not respect women (and men).

However, how many knew about the predators and let it continue? Who still knows about predators that are active and still say nothing in fear? Most importantly, how many predators are continuing their behavior despite the damage they wreak?

Feminism must overcome accusing whichever man is on the headlines and instead attack the societal structures that condone this behavior. To be able to stick it out for another fifty years, the movement will have to reshape itself to change mindsets, not banish people who do not fit the mold of ‘ally.’

“#MeToo will continue to topple patriarchs, while the patriarchy continues to win the day,” according to “The New York Times.”

So what are the feminists fighting for if they are supposedly still here? Feminism has been stereotyped as angry lesbians who hate men. There are feminist lesbians. There are feminists who are not lesbians.

There are a lot of angry feminists as they have been fighting for equality since the 1960’s and before, but equality does not exist.

Furthermore, there are many male feminists/allies. Feminists are advocating for the end of sexism and discrimination, which is perpetrated by both men and women.

“Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression,” according to “Feminism is for Everybody” by bell hooks.

Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.”

— bell hooks

Women routinely fall into the thinking of “No, I cannot do that” or “No, I should not say that. I would sound manly or angry.”

Women support sexism and further it. That is what feminists are begging to be changed as society has taught women through magazine covers of airbrushed women and television shows of women who are meek, follow men, and look perfect.

Sexism is everywhere: on the billboards you pass on the way to school, on the magazine rack as you check out at the grocery store, even in the lack of girls in higher math and science classes in some high schools and colleges.

None of those women in magazines actually exist like that; they are airbrushed, which must affect their self-esteem too.

That is the fight feminism is waging, not the end of makeup or (healthy) diets.

The problems facing feminism lie not only in body image but in work life as well. Equal opportunity is advertised in the U.S. but is it really equal?

“As of 2017, there are 32 female CEOs on the list, meaning that 6.4 percent of the U.S.’s biggest companies (by revenue) are run by women,” according to fortune.com.

Additionally, women make up 19.8 percent of Congress even though women make up 50.8% of the U.S population. Feminists advocate for more women CEOs and more women to run for public office so that there is equality and a group that is not a population minority to be represented.

According to pbs.org, there are only 200,000 women in the military compared to 1.2 million men. Could the stereotype of women being less strong than men have anything to do with this?

Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.”

— Emma Watson, actress

These are the feminists society does not lift up; these are the women who are fighting to make a difference for the oppressed women around the world.

Furthermore, there is a clear need for feminists in America. America elected a man who has around 21 women accusing him of sexual misconduct instead of a woman. White women were a reason he won.

And now feminists are crying why.

But these things are not changing and women elected him, so could feminism really be dead? The need is clear, but are the advocates there?

The Women’s March participants of 2017 and 2018 number in the millions. They are probably all not die-hard feminists, but it is a huge show of support for women.

“Now jump forward to a 2015 poll conducted by The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation…60 percent of women (and 47 percent of the public) identified themselves as feminists,” according to “Huffington Post.”

From the Suffragettes to Betty Friedan to the hundreds of women who have paved the way for the continuation of feminism, there are still feminists, and their work is not finished.

It has been picked up by Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, advocate Malala Yousafzai, writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador/actress Emma Watson, and many more.

“The great challenge of this conference is to give voice to women everywhere whose experiences go unnoticed, whose words go unheard…Yet much of the work we do is not valued — not by economists, not by historians, not by popular culture, not by government leaders,” said Hillary Clinton at the 1995 U.N. 4th World Conference on Women Plenary Session.

Feminism is alive but is in constant need of more advocates as to change the mindset every mindset has to be changed.

“Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too,” Watson said at the U.N.

Sexism affects men, too, and men are taking up the banner of feminism as well. Men have been standing up for feminism in He For She, established by Watson.

Another way of protesting women’s position in society is the countless women and men who have been challenging the silence around sexual assault through #MeToo, #TimesUp, and simply speaking out.

The work of feminists is clearly not done and neither are feminists. People can educate those around them about feminism, push for feminist causes especially better body image for the young generations, and start talking about the good feminism does.

Feminism advocates for women to be confident and demand what they have a right to: respect, equality, and lack of subjection. If you believe in equality and respect, you are probably a feminist.


Sources: