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The True Meaning of Feminism

Feminism. Be honest, when you read that you think the worst. You think, some crazy girls who hate men and want to have more power than them. And although I have to admit this is the generic view of feminism, I am here to tell you it is wrong. Feminism is not a dirty word, it is not hateful, and it is not begging for more power. Feminism is as simple as being the fight for equal rights for not just women, but the LGBTQ community, POC, and it even fights for boys. We live in a world where our gender determines our status, and how valuable of a person we are. There is a notion that being a feminist is wrong, and people shame us for standing up for our own rights.

Signs from a Feminist march and protest. Photo courtesy of Church Militant

Signs from a Feminist march and protest.
Photo courtesy of Church Militant

For a very long time I was afraid of admitting I was a feminist. I’m not ashamed of it, or embarrassed, but by saying you’re a feminist your opinions and political views become a joke. By being a feminist you are thought of as being a man hater, a manipulator, obsessive, or just down right crazy. Feminism is not about not-shaving, it’s not about not wearing bras, and it is definitely not about being superior to men. Feminism is the notion that women are people, and they are equals. What she is wearing has nothing to do with you, and it certainly does not mean she is asking to be harassed. We live in a society where physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are the victims fault. Where girls cannot wear what they want, or go to a party and drink, where women are scolded for things men are praised for. We are told not to walk alone at night, instead of teaching people not to assault. A society where a working mother is scolded for not staying home with her children all day.

Feminism is not fighting against people— it is fighting for people. Not just women, but men too, are held to an impossible standard. Gender roles are a toxic notion killing people because by being different they are wrong, and they are not worthy of their life. Children being targeted by their own parents because they don’t want to do everything the kids their age are doing. People do not understand there are consequences for their actions and for what you think is an ineffective standard is something that can affect many lives. Boys who are told they cannot cry are not only being abused verbally, but are more likely to become violent when they are older or partake in domestic abuse. They are told not to cry, and not to express their emotions. Telling a boy he cannot cry will make him turn to other outlets to let out his emotions. Something what someone may think is just a “social norm” can affect them and the ones are around them to grave extents.

People hear “feminism” and think that it is a group of hate, when it is simply love and equality. Men can be feminists, anyone can be a feminist and it does not mean that you are a hateful person. In fact, it means the complete opposite. There are people in this world who claim to be feminists and stand for the wrong things. I am here to tell you that feminism is not a war between men and women; it is fighting for justice and equality for many people. Do not be afraid to stand up for your rights, and do not stand down if you are intimidated. We live in a world where people push others down as a way to make their problems go away, but we must stand tall and if they push us, stand up for yourself. We all have a right to be here. Man, women, black or white, every race we are all worthy of respect. Feminism is not hate— it is love. It is only love. As G.D. Anderson once said, “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.”

By Arden Grossman’20, Staff Writer

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