22 March 2015

Renew your spirit with feminism

Despite what a lot of people try to tell you, feminism still matters.

Yes, women can vote and work outside the home. They can drive and own property and do the things that men can do.

But there is still a lot of stigma surrounding women (especially mothers) who work outside the home or single moms.

There are raised eyebrows when women work their way to tops of companies to be leaders or who go after positions traditionally considered men's jobs. And when they do work their way through their careers, they often do it at lower wages than their male counterparts.

In many situations throughout the United States, women are treated separate but equal. (Which, as we know, is not equal at all.)

And while lots of women never consciously experience the rampant discrimination, objectification, and misogyny that permeate our society, those things still exist.

Women are still afraid to walk to their cars alone or go jogging alone in the mornings.* Women guard their drinks at bars and clubs. What it comes down to is that women are treated differently than men in our society. They just are.

Some of it is getting better, but there is still so much that people don't realize is harmful and continues to happen. Men make comments they claim are harmless or complimentary, not realizing those comments objectify the women they are speaking to. It happens all the time. Women expect to be cat called and harassed.

And instead of fixing the real problem, which is that we allow men to treat us this way without accountability, women are taught from a young age to learn self-defense, carry mace. I was told from middle school that if I was being attacked, I should yell "Fire" instead of "Rape" because it increased the likelihood that someone would come to help.


It's not okay that this happens in our society. It's not okay that women adapt to this treatment instead of men being held accountable for what they're being wrong. How many times have you heard "boys will be boys" said casually--often by mothers--as an excuse for bad behavior? Why is this acceptable?

And because I am a woman, because there are women in my life I love and respect, and because I have a daughter, feminism still matters.

*A friend of mine posted on Facebook just yesterday that she didn't get to run that morning because no one else from her running group showed up, and it was not safe for her to run alone, particularly in the dark.

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