BY NAOMI SANCHEZ, 16
Disclaimer: There exists a false pretension in regards to the meaning of the word Feminism. Some have made this term to mean the root cause of lesbianism, hatred towards men, an affront Christian values and principles, and disruption of our civil society.
How I define it- A way to call out injustices based on gender, and to vouch for equality among both sexes. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less.
As women in this world, we are constantly fighting an uphill battle. A battle for equality and independence from the masculine political (i.e the Patriarchy) system. In this world, women are objectified, silenced, and taken advantage of.
What feminism does, is fight for women’s voices to be heard, and for a woman to become equal with a man, not just in the workplace, but in civic society, as well.
Let’s start off with the workplace:
I am a strong believer that sometimes statistics can speak just as much as words, so let’s take a look at this chart.
As a woman, this chart breaks my heart and, at the same time, terrifies me. According to the facts, A man and I can both be 2-year vets at the same hospital, doing the exact same job, with the exact same hours. Yet, he’ll be payed more just because he is a male. This reflects a lot on our, “Equal” country.
As a feminist, I see as my duty to fight against this and demand for equal pay. Heck, it’s my duty as a woman to fight for my hardworking sisters out there (especially our single mothers.) We have to make equality in this country a reality (this doesn’t even include the racial/ethnic pay gaps, but that’s a completely different tangent that deserves its own post.)
Moving on to Civic society:
You see, we have 2 inequalities/injustices in Civic Society:
- A 17 year-old girl is walking down the street with a couple of her girlfriends, and a 20 something year-old man eyes her, like a hawk on his prey and starts whistling. Cat Calling. There are men out there (not all) that see women as toys. A toy for them to stare at lustfully, to touch without consent, and to think about in vulgar ways. We need to learn to not be silent or naïve to these behaviors. We need to stand up and be strong, independent women, who will not be fearful or naïve, but strive to make a change.
“Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength” –G.D Anderson
- We have all heard the word “sexist”, or “sexism.” But, I want to throw in a better, more meaningful word: Misogyny. Misogyny is the hatred or mistrust of women because of gender. A woman not getting a job because she is seen as “incompetent” or “weak” is misogynistic. People try to use this construct to undermine the power and strength of women. So they might tell us to stay home, have babies, serve a man’s cevery beck and call, and stay out of politics. Being a stay at home mom isn’t wrong, by any means, it’s just they leave us with this only option. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, a bunch of beautiful, strong women fought for our right to vote. During World War 2, another bunch of beautiful, strong women decided to have jobs that only men were suppose to have, in order to help our country during their time of need. During the early 1960’s, another bunch of beautiful, strong women fought for the Equal Pay Act, but since it was during the Vietnam War, some women didn’t want it to go through, because they could be drafted. So it never happened. All of these women who fought for us, were fighting against Misogyny, and were feminists.
“Feminism is the radical notions that women are human beings.” –Cheris Krameare
Now let’s bring it on Home (literally):
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:”
Proverbs 31:25-28 NIV
In the bible, it says that the man is the head of the household. But, hold on, wait a second, don’t get ahead of yourselves, this does not mean by any circumstance, that the woman is the servant, or slave to the man. Men are the protecters and head of the house, but women still have rights and a voice. Women can “share the pants”, too.
As for daughters, you can not raise your daughters in fear of the world. I believe, mothers should show their daughters, not solely how to clean or cook, but how to be strong, independent, and capable of being on their own. You can’t expect to keep your daughter in a bubble and wait for Prince Charming to knock on your door with a glass slipper, ready to carry her off into the sunset. What type of self-worth are you teaching them?
“A women with out a man is like a fish with out a bicycle” –Gloria Steinem
A fish does not need a bicycle to survive, nor does a women need a man to survive. Therefore, your daughters should know how to survive without one. Before you can survive with a man, you need to learn how to survive without one.
For the men out there:
Please respect the women out there, see them not only for their outer appearance, but as the precious jewels God created them to be. Respect their wishes and dreams. Respect their ideas, because trust me, they can be the future Esthers, Eleanor Roosevelts,and Susan B. Anthonys. Women have the Power to change the world. Trust your daughters and teach them what a real man should really act and be like. Love your sisters and protect them, from those who are against them. Care for your female friends and respect them. And lastly, shower your wives with praise for all that they do.
“If you stand for equality, then you’re a feminist. Sorry to tell you, You’re a Feminist.” –Emma Watson