Monday, September 22, 2014

My Position on Feminism

The fact that the word “feminist” even exists shows the segregation between men and women when it comes to equality. The fact that there is such thing as “women’s rights” but not technically “men’s rights” should make us as humans strive for the day when there won’t be a differentiation between gender rights, overall it will just be called “human rights.” I feel that every human being should have equal rights regardless of factors like gender, race, religion, and sexuality, among other things. I recently watched a speech on feminism given by one of my role models, actress Emma Watson. She inspired me to express my feelings about the topic, and I am surprised myself that I haven’t written anything on it thus far because I feel very strongly about it.
Most people cringe at the word “feminist,” but why? When people think of feminists they think of radical, protesting, angry, men-hating females, but that isn’t the case at all. It’s the same arguments for any group of radical people—you cannot judge all based on a few. In fact, most of the people I’ve met in my life are feminists whether they assign themselves that title or not, because feminism in its most basic form means you believe in equality for both genders. It isn’t women > men, it’s women = men. I realized this a bit late in my life. It wasn’t until I met certain self-proclaimed feminists throughout my college career that I realized what a true feminist is—somebody who stands up for the rights of women and advocates complete gender equality.
It is absurd and mind-blowing to me that both genders have never been treated equally, and there does not exist one country who can say with utter certainty that both genders are equal in every aspect. The difference of a few body parts should not be an indicator of intelligence, potential, ability, etc. Every human should be granted equal opportunities, possibilities, and respect. The character of a person lies in the person themselves regardless of their gender, race, sexuality, etc. To judge someone by any other means than who they are as a person is prejudice and narrow-minded, and completely unfair. Just because I was born a female does not mean that I should make less money than my male counterparts. It does not mean that I am incapable of holding a position in government, law, or medicine. Simply because I may give birth to a child someday does not mean I am weak or fragile. It does not mean I am “too emotional” to play a serious role in our society.
There really isn’t a valid argument for viewing women as inferior. Being a female does not make a person handicapped in any way. Women should work full-time jobs just like men do, whether or not either is a parent. Both should take maternity and paternity leave from work if they have a child, not just the mother. It is not solely the mother’s duty to stay home with the child 24/7 just because she physically gave birth to it—the father had just as much a role in the child’s creation. Gone are the days that men go off to work all day while the wife stays home to cook and clean. Even financially, it would be difficult if both the husband and wife did not generate some sort of income. We need to stop associating females with the lesser. When someone says you “hit like a girl,” why should that be taken as an insult? Females are commonly depicted as weaker or less skilled when it comes to “male activities” such as sports, and quite frankly, it doesn’t make any sense. Only we as a society can stop sexism. All we have to do is recognize gender inequality and put a stop to it the moment we see it. Whether or not you want to be associated with the word “feminist,” you should want to be associated with the movement itself. The day where gender inequality is no longer a thing is the day we are one step closer to eliminating human inequality altogether.

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