You may have heard of the growing phenomenon called feminism. You may even have an opinion on it and the people who practice it. Well, join the club. The problem is that, as a society, we tend to form opinions before becoming properly educated about the subject topic.
Let’s start with the literal definition of feminism according to Merriam Webster: the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. Now, here are some statistics that feminists are angry about. First, and most commonly discussed, is the wage gap. Women are making 78 cents on every dollar a man makes for the same job. Though I don’t fully understand why people argue that women should be earning less, they do. 22 cents may not seem like a lot, but in a year’s salary that deficit grows. Another issue is the reproductive rights of women. I’m openly pro-life, which means life has worth from the moment of conception to the last breath we take, no matter the crime. Unfortunately, the “fearless men in expensive suits” that have been running this country have taken away a lot of choices that should be made by women alone. When Trump has a baby bump he can decide on the course of that child’s life.
According to Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, “In far too many circumstances, a woman’s paycheck determines whether she can get the health care she needs when she has made the decision to end a pregnancy.” Isn’t it a little strange that the government has a say over women’s bodies? Almost as if they own us … we have somehow become property of the government. Why do we stop protecting people once they’ve left the womb? Do we suddenly lose value after birth?
Move back in time.
If you were thrown back into the fifties, the woman’s role was in the home. Maybe you believe women should still be confined to an oven, a stove, a nursery, and a rocking chair, but maybe you don’t. If you don’t, then hey, we should be friends. Feminism is not just for the benefit of women.
The “Rape Is Rape” campaign launched by the Feminist Majority Foundation had a response of 160,000 emails sent to the FBI pressuring it to change its definition of rape from “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will,” to include all forms of penetration and no longer exclude men.
Men have also benefited in the area of military work. Starting in 2013, women have been allowed on the front lines, opening up 237,000 military jobs that were previously off-limits to females, which gave relief to the male members of the military.
Men have benefited in other ways such as a small time off for maternity/paternity leave, keeping prisons safer for male inmates, the fight for men’s rights to become nurses and teachers, giving single men more rights in application to tax returns, and much more. Unfortunately a lot of these benefits are being removed and changed by our new government. This is one of the primary reasons that standing up for the feminist movement is so prevalent right now.
Question movements like this, but also do the research on why it counts. Stop giving extremists more attention than those who are fighting for something bigger than themselves. Don’t let one part stand for the whole, and if you do then become a part of that whole that stands for a whole lot more.