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You can be a man or woman and still label yourself a feminist

You can be a man or woman and still label yourself a feminist

You can be a man or woman and still label yourself a feminist
May 02
21:54 2017

The feminist movement is always getting flak for being too extreme, losing sight of its message, hating men and being “too liberal.” Some women say they can’t support the movement because they enjoy having “gentlemen” treat them like ladies.

But these traits do not have to be mutually exclusive. Women can like men holding doors open for them and want to be paid the same amount as a man for the same job. Men can still be gentlemen while simultaneously believing that rape culture should not exist.

There are a slew of stigmas surrounding the feminist movement, but the fact of the matter is that feminism is defined as the belief that women should be treated equally. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes.” That is what most feminists are marching for, and while there are some who have ruined it for the masses, there are also Christians who kill based on the teachings of the Bible. But we as Americans don’t clump those things together and criticize the entire religion of Christianity.

Through the feminist movement, women have marched for a variety of reasons: income inequality, rape culture, sexual assault, harsher punishment for male rapists, women who are mutilated at birth, women who have “lost their worth” and are abandoned after conceiving a child out of wedlock and women who cannot leave an abusive relationship because they will be ostracized by their families or communities.

When women march, we march for the rights of all women. When women marched on Washington the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, they were not whining or attempting to belittle the scare tactics that women have to endure in other countries. Injustices are injustices nonetheless.

A woman being paid less than a man for the same job is, in fact, an injustice that is not meant to downplay how some women can’t show their faces in public, or are burned with acid by men. We shouldn’t be competing for attention on injustices, and the validity of each once should not be downplayed even if you have it “better off.”

However, there should always be perspective. I am in no way saying that I have it just as bad as the women who live in fear of their husbands, or who had to flee their communities after being deemed to have no purpose. That is not the case. We march because we know women should be treated as equals in every society and every country, but that is simply not the case right now.

Another point of criticism is when women who call themselves feminists say things about other women, or work against their female counterparts.

Women and men should not find it hard to get behind a movement that works on their behalf. While some women may believe that they are not oppressed or suffering from the patriarchal society we live in, there are many women that do feel these effects. If a tsunami hits Indonesia and you don’t feel its effects, that doesn’t mean the tsunami didn’t happen.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

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kara jobmann

kara jobmann

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