You are a Feminist.

You are a Feminist.

Anna Dabrowski, Head Editor

 

 

“Don’t worry I’m not a feminist or anything”, a common utterance I hear in this town whenever the topic of politics comes up. Wow, what a relief? I was not made aware that being a feminist had become so taboo; such a divisive issue in the grand scheme of everything else that could be debated on the political spectrum. 

 

“Why aren’t you a feminist?”

 

“I mean I think women should get equal pay and all but feminism goes too far”

 

“How does feminism go too far?”

 

“……feminists hate men.”

 

“Show me anything that says that.”

 

“………..”

 

If you could not already tell what the direction of this article is, here is why you are most definitely a feminist. 

 

You think women should get equal pay. This is pretty self explanatory. Discrimination on the basis of sex is illegal under the Civil Rights Act, yet there is a wage disparity between men and women. There are many statistics on this topic, but the most recent data that I could find was from the Census Bureau and it said that on average women earn 82 cents for every dollar men make. The wage gap is way higher for women of color, with the largest gap being Indigenous women earning 57 cents for every dollar a man makes. 


You believe women should be able to pursue any career/work life that they want to. The biggest reason for the wage gap is occupational segregation created by funneling men and women into job fields based on social normative. The jobs that are traditionally female dominated tend to pay less, coincidence, I think not. Women also tend to take jobs that are more conducive to having a family, since women are traditionally expected to be the main person raising their children. Women will often work less hours, and take years off of work which causes them to have less experience which equals less pay when they return to the workforce. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be a stay at home mom, or wanting to work less hours, the issue is rather the expectation that women must be the homemakers. Feminism is all about a woman’s ability to choose the paths of their lives, whatever that may be. Even when women do not take jobs conducive to raising a family, they are still payed less than their perfectly matched male counter parts, the only explanation for this disparity on such a large scale is discrimination.


You think that rape is bad. 1 out of every 6 women is the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. 94% of women who are raped experience PTSD, and 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide. Victims are more likely to use substance abuse as a coping mechanism, and many also destroy their relationships with friends and family. Only 34% of rapes are reported and only 6% of rapists ever spend a day in jail. If these statistics are not enough for you; if you are one of those men who only whines, “not all men”, then kindly never speak to me.

 

“Feminism is unnecessary in the U.S., we are the most free and the most safe country in the world.” This article was simply three bullet points long, and it shouldn’t have taken more than 3 minutes to read. Yet I highly doubt any men actually did, because they fear ever being in the wrong. I have never been able to have a calm and collective conversation about feminism with a teenage boy, because they automatically assume I am accusing them of wronging me. I am actually speaking with them because I’d like them to be my ally, because I think men are a vital part of the feminist movement, because I believe they can be the change that inspires their peers. Clearly we still need feminism, the reasons are above, yet we cower away from the word. I don’t hate men, I never will, but as a society we need to become educated. Discrimination, consent, and everything else under that umbrella needs to be taught in our schools. Even as a child I remember lying and saying my favorite color was blue because I was scared to say the word pink. The underlying message of this article is simple. If you agree with the points above, you are a feminist. If you don’t agree with the points above, you need to deeply address your morals.

I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. ”

— Rebecca West

Works Cited

Bleiweis, Robin. “Quick Facts About the Gender Wage Gap.” Center for American Progress, www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2020/03/24/482141/quick-facts-gender-wage-gap/.

“Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics.” RAINN, www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence.