Feminism: the equal rights of men and women, the eradication of all oppressions, and an extremely taboo topic. If you are labeled “feminist” or “activist,” you are also labeled “man-killer” or “weird lesbian” or “troublemaker.” When did people start adopting this false belief, and more importantly, why? When the concept of feminism is as simple as “all people should be treated equal,” why is identifying as a feminist so stigmatized? To clear up some common misconceptions, I am here to clear up what feminism is and is not, and why most people are fundamentally a feminist, whether they realize it or not.
Feminism is not bra-burners, anti-shavers, man-haters, killjoys, attention whores, etc.
Feminism is not putting women before men or wanting to demonize all men.
Feminism is not exclusively women.
Feminism is not feminist icon Gloria Steinem saying young women only like Bernie Sanders because that’s where all the boys are (shame on you, Steinem).
Now that we are clear on what feminism is not, it’s time to realize what feminism is and why we desperately need it.
We need feminism because women make 79 cents for every dollar earned by men and “women make less than men in virtually every occupation.”
We need feminism because working moms do not deserve to be shamed for utilizing daycare facilities and stay-at-home moms do not deserve to be shamed for raising their children at home, which should be viewed as a legitimate occupation.
We need feminism because “women have voted more than men in every presidential election since 1980,” and yet they are underrepresented and oppressed by the government.
We need feminism because no one ever asks the rapist what he was wearing.
We need feminism because one in five girls will be sexually assaulted in college every year.
We need feminism because rape victims should be supported, not allegedly told by a UConn police officer that “women need to stop spreading their legs like peanut butter or rape is going to keep happening until the cows come home.”
We need feminism because men get raped too.
We need feminism because members and pledges of Yale’s DKE chapter gathered at night near the women’s freshman dorms and chanted “No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal!”
We need feminism because Jameis Winston was accused of brutally raping an FSU freshman but the cops neglected to do anything about it until a year later, even though the alleged victim went to the hospital immediately after the incident and received a medical examination. Jameis went on to win the Heisman Trophy and is idolized, while his accuser faces ridicule, blame, and is alienated by her college and community.
We need feminism because Donald Trump, the GOP front runner, has once said: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
We need feminism because Donald Trump, the GOP front runner, has once said [about Carly Fiorina]: “Look at that face. Would anybody vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
We need feminism because Donald Trump, the GOP front runner, has once said: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”
We need feminism because Donald Trump, the GOP front runner, has once said: “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
We need feminism because how “legal” is abortion, really?
We need feminism because there is only one Planned Parenthood in all of Mississippi and it does not provide abortions, leaving women of all ages without the healthcare they fundamentally deserve.
We need feminism because pregnancy should be the most private aspect of a woman’s life, and just because a person does not agree with a woman’s choice does not mean she is wrong and definitely should not merit measure.
We need feminism because Kesha should not be forced to stay in a contract with a producer who she says drugged and raped her on at least two specific occasions (Which there was evidence for- Kesha went to an emergency room after the incident and tested positive for GHB, the “date rape drug”).
We need feminism because cat-callers are the rude ones, not the women who ignore them. And no, it is not flattering.
We need feminism because the constitution promises all people the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We need feminism because when a man has a high body count, he gets applauded, but when a woman has a high body count, she is slut-shamed.
We need feminism because “in the House of Representatives, women hold just 84 (19.3%) of the 435 seats.”
We need feminism because International Women’s Day, one bullsh*t holiday a year, does not justify the inequalities women face every single day.
We need feminism because feminism is love, determination, fairness, freedom, empowerment, and equality.
We need feminism because women can be the boss, not just “bossy.”
We need feminism because “running like a girl” is the same as just “running.”
We need feminism because women are not better than men and men are not better than women. They should be treated equally because they are equal.
We need feminism because it is the the only way to combat the systemic sexism that penetrates society.
I am a feminist. A fucking feminist. And I’m not afraid to say it. What are you?
This article was originally posted here.