After skimming the comments on my last two articles about feminism, I came to the conclusion that a significant amount of people are pretty upset that feminism is still a thing. They believe that feminism is a load of crap and that I am lying when I say that for me and for many other women, feminism is about social, political and economic equality. They think that feminists produce a bunch of lies about societal injustice, and that feminism is outdated since we now live in a world where men and women have equal rights. They also like to use biology to explain the apparent double standards in terms of sexual behavior that I have pointed out in my articles. They say that men are biologically built to seek out multiple sexual partners and women are biologically built to only want to be intimate with one person, and that this biological determinism dictates our sexual behaviors and clearly explains and justifies the slut-shaming and ridicule women face for sleeping with multiple men and the confirmation and approval men receive for sleeping with multiple women.
So, if all of these things are "true", then who needs feminism? I began to think about some of the reasons I consider myself a feminist.
Women make up 18.5% of Congress yet over 50% of the population.
1 in 5 college women will experience attempted or completed sexual assault in their four years at school.
In the film industry, 7% of directors, 13% of writers, and 20% of producers are female.
Women receive about 77 cents to a man's dollar for equal work. The wage disparity cannot solely be accounted for by the fact that women tend to occupy lower-wage jobs than men (which in and of itself is problematic), as many critics have claimed; even within low-wage jobs, women make on average 9.6 cents per dollar less than their male counterparts.
So, who needs feminism? Who needs feminism, whose literal definition in the dictionary is "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities"? Who needs feminism in a country where the higher the level of education, the greater the wage gap between men and women (as reported by the US Department of Labor)? Who needs feminism in a world where women can hardly walk down the street without the risk of being cat-called, touched without their consent, or worse? Who needs feminism in a country where, following a mass shooting of college students fueled by misogyny, some men responded on social media sites with comments such as "I hope you women see this as a lesson to stop being so stuck up and give that one kid some p*ssy who never gets sh*t and you might save a life...," "Females needa start giving these weird n***** p*ssy," and, "See girls this is what you get for treating nice guys like sh*t." Even more men, instead of standing in solidarity with women speaking out about everyday misogyny and sexism with the hashtag #YesAllWomen, instead focused their energy on defending themselves with the hashtag #NotAllMen to prove the point that not all men are like Elliot Rodger, which no one ever even fucking thought.
Who needs feminism? I need feminism. And you'd better need it, too. Feminism helps men as well as women by challenging traditional gender roles and social norms and allowing people to feel and do what they want, regardless of their gender. Feminism fights to allow men and women alike to act however they please without being punished for stepping outside of what many consider "typical" or "acceptable" for their assigned gender. Feminism is about freedom of thought and opportunity. Feminism is for everyone. Feminism is for now.