We still need feminism

Feminism, to many people, is considered to be a dirty word, something that’s aggressive and anti-men. Many picture feminism as women sneering at the thought of stay-at-home moms or putting women above men. However, feminism is the opposite of these things; it’s to have equality between men and women and to give women the freedom to choose any way of life without judgment.
The primary purpose of feminism is to empower women in all aspects of their lives, from sexual orientation, occupation, chosen profession, way of life and more. Feminism is in place in order to not only give women equal rights but to be seen as equal to men in society.
A common argument many people like to use is that women today have equal rights. Women can vote, work and go into the Army, right? Although this is true, feminism is still an essential part of ensuring equality in the lesser talked about aspects of life.
Despite women in America having the same rights as men, this does not mean that inequality doesn’t exist in other facets of life. In fact, the workplace is a common area of inequality between men and women. According to payscale.com, in 2019, men’s salaries were about 21% higher than the salaries of women.
In addition, many working women face subtle discrimination. This can be anything from bosses or managers dismissing a woman’s intelligent ideas or even calling a woman bossy instead of a leader. Feminism isn’t just about changing legislation, (although changing legislation is a very important part of feminism) but it’s also about changing the way society views and treats women.
Furthermore, just because women in the United States feel as though they have equal opportunities and rights as men, doesn’t mean that women across the globe enjoy the same rights. In many third world countries, women are still fighting for their right to an education, non-arranged marriages and even just getting a job instead of raising a family. It is important for us, as women, to recognize this and broaden the minds of people we know to help propel progress worldwide.
Aside from balancing the gender pay gap and establishing equality, shaping the way society treats and views women is extremely important as well. There are countless issues: considering a woman to be a whore or a slut after she engages in consensual sex, blaming women’s choice of clothing as a reason as to why she was raped or even oversexualizing women with oppressive dress codes at school, just to name a few.
When women are constantly being told that enjoying consensual sex is something that they should be ashamed of while men are “more of a man” after having sex, this perpetuates the cycle of inequality.
When women are repeatedly told to watch what they wear out because they don’t want to be too provocative and attract rapists, that perpetuates the cycle of inequality and victim-blaming.
When women’s bodies are continuously being seen as objects and as something they need to cover up as to not “distract” boys, that is perpetuating the cycle of inequality and the objectification of women.
These beliefs are so deeply ingrained in today’s society. Even though inequality isn’t as apparent to some in the 21st century, inequality still exists. It comes in many forms; from the subtle to the not so subtle. Inequality creeps into the lives of millions of women in the workplace, at school or even in their own homes. Inequality lurks in the back of many minds, when they think, “Ew. She is showing too much skin. She’s definitely asking for it.”
It is important for everyone, not even just women, to realize the unfairness of society and legislation alike around the world. Accepting women for whatever path of life they choose, whether that is being a stay-at-home mom or the CEO of a company, is crucial. Women should not feel judged for their lifestyles and should feel free and safe to express themselves and live their lives however they would like.