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The Orion

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The Orion

Feminism is my favorite F word

Photo credit: Madison Holmes

Feminism: “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” A large majority of the college-aged population is not able to understand this simple definition of the term. Instead, people almost run away from it, giving the word and the movement itself a negative connotation.

I have no issue labeling myself as a feminist – I actually feel a sense of pride when I talk about the topic. Feminism is a belief that I have become extremely passionate about since taking a women’s studies course last semester, and since then I’ve learned a lot about the positive effects this movement has on society.

Unfortunately, many college-aged men and even women aren’t accepting of feminism. This baffles me as I believe everyone should technically be a feminist. After all, it’s simply the belief in equality of the sexes, and why would anyone not be an advocate of that?

Feminists are not men-haters and do not want to overrun the entire male population. That’s extremely far from my goals in the advocacy of feminism. I simply want females like myself to have the same exact opportunities men receive, because there should be no difference in how a woman gets treated based on her biological make-up.

It makes me angry to know that I am seen as less than or less capable of a man because I don’t have a penis. That sounds pretty ridiculous to me.

There are actually many famous celebrity feminists who we all love and adore. To list a few of my favorites: Emma Watson, Lena Dunham, Beyonce, Zooey Deschanel, Amy Poehler and Leighton Meester. All of these women are beautiful, empowered females who understand what it’s like to try to make it an a male-dominated industry. And all of them are “loud and proud” about their feminist beliefs, which I find inspiring.

To prove my point on how important it is that strong women (and men) continue in the fight for equality, here’s some statistics that the American Association of University Women describe as “scarier than Halloween”:

-Women make up 14 percent of the engineering workforce.

-Women represent only 18.5 percent of Congress.

-Twenty-four states have never elected a woman governor.

-The U.S. ranks 60th globally in female political empowerment.

-Women make up only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.

Ladies, doesn’t this piss you off? The list could go on and on about how little equality there is for women when it comes to positions of esteem and power. I find it outrageous that in the year 2016 women still don’t have complete equality with men especially in regards to education and wages.

Why is this so important anyways? In my opinion, I think it’s so crucial to keep fighting for women’s rights for future generations. I don’t know about you, but I want my future daughter to grow up in a society where she never has to feel “less than” a man. I want her to believe that she can be the president of the U.S., or the CEO of a company, or the leader of a law firm, or the head surgeon at a hospital.

I urge you all to give feminism a chance and stop running away from the movement. It’s an extremely positive, uplifting movement that empowers women and I don’t think anyone should be opposed to that.

Whether you have a daughter one day, or a little sister right now, or any young girl that you care about, don’t you want her to be able to achieve her dreams and shoot for the highest of the stars? I know I do.

Emma Vidak-Benjamin can be reached at [email protected] or @gnarlyemma on Twitter.

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  • D

    David Constable // Dec 14, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    When I ask self-proclaimed “feminists” (a possibly aggressive sexist word) what they stand for or believe in, the less rabid among them respond, calmly, “equality of opportunity, no quotas (affirmative action), respect based on quality, not sex, etc.” I respond, “So you believe in ‘equality’ in the terms you’ve mentioned. You are “equalitarian”, then. The more common usage is ‘egalitarian’ (a non-aggressive inclusive word). Some mention their husband’s or partner’s dislike of the word “feminism”as being aggressive, and I can see their point, I guess.

    Some angry women will spit out that word when taking with men – I then wonder about their being ‘lonely’. Try smiling and toning things down?

    Some women and girls are now using ‘egalitarian’ more often. I hope it continues. “Bitchiness is not an attractive trait for either sex. Then again, men spouting off about women, is not attractive either.

  • K

    KMFDM999 // Mar 23, 2016 at 1:55 am

    Do you define equality for women as equal opportunity or equal outcomes?

  • P

    Paul Cavanaugh // Mar 22, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    First you say feminism is “belief in equality of the sexes” which is fine. THEN you start ranting about things like 18.5% female representation in congress. Did you know women make up 54% of the voting population? Apparently women aren’t allowed to make voting choices because YOU think they are doing it wrong.

    Equality of the sexes isn’t the same as equality of results. Women simply make different choices than men do in general. Short of forcing women to adhere to your agenda, you’re never going to change this. It’s based in biology.

    So yes, I believe in equality of the sexes. No, I am not a feminist. I am an anti-feminist because I believe feminists advocate some very sick and destructive policies. I think feminism is a cancer and I will do whatever I can to make people aware of that fact.