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The Facts of Feminism

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The Facts of Feminism

Emeline Kuether, Managing Editor - Hilltopper

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It’s 2018. Almost 100 years since women won the right to vote. We’re closer to equality than ever before, but that isn’t really saying much.

 

How has something as simple as equality become so complex and intangible? How has one word, that is nothing more than a synonym of equality, become something that people are so afraid of that their defenses go up the moment they hear it?

 

I am a feminist. I am not afraid to admit it. Being a feminist does not mean that I hate men. It does not mean that I want women to be the superior gender. It simply means that I want equality. Equality for every gender, every race, every sexuality, and every person. This is all that I want, is it really that much to ask?

 

According to a poll by the Washington Post, only 60% of women, and 30% of men in America would call themselves a feminist. This means that 40% of women most likely either don’t understand the word, or don’t believe that they deserve equal rights. A whopping 70% of men most likely either don’t understand the concept of feminism, are too scared to admit they are a feminist, or don’t believe that women deserve the same rights and treatment as them.

 

How has being a feminist gained such a terrible reputation that a large percentage of the country will not admit to it, or is even disgusted by the thought of being one?

 

Perhaps it is because of the myths and stereotypes that have generated around the concept of feminism.

 

Myth #1: All feminists are lesbian radicalists who hate men.

 

Feminism and sexual orientation are completely unrelated. You can be straight, gay, bi, or transgender, but it won’t change the fact that you want equality for everyone. As for hating men, perhaps there are a few radicalists that go that far, but the majority of feminists support men and some even are men. Feminism is equality between men and women, hating a certain gender is only moving backwards.

 

Myth #2: Women are already equal, so feminism is irrelevant.

 

Women may be closer to equality than even before, but we still have a long way to go. Women still make only 84% of what men make, according to the Pew Research Center. On top of that, women of color are even further disadvantaged. According to the National Women’s Law Center, black women have to work 19 months to make what men did in a year. Not to mention the fact that women are constantly at a risk of sexual assault. According to ABC News, 1 in 3 women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. A world where women are not safe, and are not paid enough, does not qualify as an equal world.

 

Myth #3: Feminine women are not feminists.

 

Being feminine, or not being feminine, is a preference. If you like wearing skirts, lipstick, and perfume, you can support equality. Or if you like sweatpants and football, you can still support equality. Anyone, no matter what style, personality, or likes and dislikes, can support equality.

 

So why is it important to be a feminist? That’s for you to decide.

 

I am not a feminist because I am a woman. I am feminist for the same reason my dad and brother are: I not only want equality for every person, but I am willing to fight for it. This is why I will be attending the Women’s March in January, and why in 2020 I will be voting for the first time, and exercising the right that so many other women worked so hard to achieve.

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The Facts of Feminism