Thursday, August 6, 2015

Let's Get Some Things Straight

There has been so much dialogue in the media lately about feminism, you can't seem to turn on a T.V. or scroll through Twitter without someone ranting on about it. Yet, people who use the word so casually, and who attack the idea of "the f word" often seem to misunderstand the true meaning of feminism.


Let's get some facts out there. Feminism is about equality for women and men, both in the public and private spheres. Today's feminists seek not just equal representation in board rooms and on pay rolls, but we demand equal respect for our "female" qualities. We believe that women should be able to command a room with authority and not be labeled a bitch for being outspoken. We believe that women should be able to show emotion at the office or in public without being judged or thought to be too weak for an office environment. Perhaps most importantly, we believe that women should be able to feel safe walking home from the office at night or when we're headed out to a party dressed in our finest.

It's important to note one main aspect of every point I mentioned above: we can't get there without the help of men. Feminists today understand that the goal is for both women AND men to work together towards a more equal and respectful society. Women can't lead a room full of men without those men understanding that a woman's opinion is just as valid as his. Additionally,  women can't prevent sexual violence without her male counterparts helping to eliminate this plague of constant violence and harassment. This is not a fight against men, it is a fight with them.

I came across an article recently in The Huffington Post entitled "What's So Feminine About Being A Feminist" where author Lisa Marie Jenkins asserts that there is nothing feminine about feminism today. In fact, Jenkins states it is clear why feminism carries such negative connotations in our society. This kind of literature, published on a highly respected site which I normally love, is exactly what gives feminism a bad name and discredits all of the hardworking women and men seeking true equality. There are many women just like me who love to bake, knit, and go to the salon yet  also believe there is more work to be done on the feminist front. Let's keep the dialogue going.

Thanks for reading,

Madison

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