Don’t Fear Feminists: Accept, Embrace and Join Their Movement

I am a feminist because I believe in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. I don’t hate men. I am not crazy. I am a feminist because I am human, and I wish to be treated as such. I am an equal, but not in the world’s eyes. Not yet.

Half of Americans get paid 77 cents for every dollar the other half earns. It took half of us 144 years to earn the right to vote for our own country’s government. Thirty-two years later, both halves could finally march side by side in our country’s military. It was only five years ago when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, marking the first time in history that insurance companies couldn’t charge half of America more than the other, based on their chromosomes.

If you are born with a Y chromosome, you probably won’t be subject to cat calls when you walk down the street. You won’t be married off to a stranger, older man when you’re only a child and won’t be violently punished for having an insufficient marriage dowry. You won’t be called bossy, but you’ll be respected. You can write love songs without being labeled a crazy, flimsy mess. Your dress code will be less restrictive. You can wear as little clothing as you wish, without fear of being sexually harassed. You won’t be expected to stay at home and raise children. You will be free.

I want all of the above to be the same for those with two X chromosomes.

Instead, women are expected to let men pay for dinner, open doors, ride in on a white horse and conquer the castle. They are born into a world where they should wear skirts at appropriate lengths, shave their legs, stay in the kitchen, put on makeup — but not too much — breastfeed, aspire to marriage, learn to walk in heels and keep quiet. I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say that we are done playing along.

Do not fear feminism. It’s not a scary concept. If you believe that any human being with oxygen in their lungs and blood coursing through their veins should have the same rights and expectations, then we’re on the same page. No, this won’t be easy, but neither will it include tearing men off their pedestals and throwing some ladies up there, just because we need some diversity. It doesn’t mean chivalry should die or dresses should burn. It means the end of doing things “like a girl”, asking female celebrities more domestic-based questions than their equally famous husbands and objectifying women as war prizes. If feminism means the end of a disgustingly degrading era, then by all means, cue the dramatic music and roll the credits.

It’s been said that history repeats itself. People vocalize against the injustices done to them: Indians under British rule, black Americans before the Civil Rights Movement and now women across the world. Hillary Clinton travels the globe delivering powerful speeches to massive crowds on horrific human rights violations committed against females. Celebrities such as Taylor Swift fight the constant judgement they receive behind the scenes. Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani female education activist, wrote an anonymous diary speaking against the Taliban’s atrocities when she was eleven, leading to a bullet in the head when she was fourteen and a Nobel Peace Prize at age seventeen. This is only a handful of the powerful, fierce women taking a stand against the weight of inequality.

Women haven’t always received as much action as they demand now. Before the push for equal gender rights was such a popular subject, it was treated as society’s mosquito bite. The world was aware of its irritating presence, and would succumb to clawing at it then and again. The bite throbbed? The United States slapped an equal suffrage amendment Band-Aid on it. Today, the urge to itch has become an overwhelming need. As everyday people scratch society’s surface, celebrities pull out the Aloe Vera and politicians grab the bug spray, our world is even closer to healing our own wounds.

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