Why The World Needs Feminism
(I wrote this for my persuasive speech assignment in Public Speaking class, so I decided I wanted to post it on here as well. I left out a lot of important issues and topics that I wanted to talk about because I had to stay focused on the general idea of feminism and not sub-topics of it as much.)
Imagine a world where men everywhere dream of becoming the first male leader of their nation. These males are also sick and tired of females making more money than them for doing the same exact jobs. They constantly have to tell women they’re not interested in them, but their response is not respected and they are physically or sexually assaulted. Even though these men use all their power to fight against the harsh gender roles and ideas against them, they are perceived as weak to a majority of the world. Now, imagine a world where the same thing I just said happens, but to women instead. That world is the one we’re currently living in.
Ever since the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, feminism has become an essential movement that our world needs in order to progress. The definition of feminism is described as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” We desperately need that ideology all across the globe.
Due to lack of education on feminism, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who believe feminism’s goal is unrealistic and discriminates against men. The radical group of people who take this ignorance to an extreme like to call themselves “meninists,” when they are merely just misogynists making a mockery of feminism. Meninists are blind to what feminism does to benefit men or continue to believe their internalized misogynist thoughts. All of us, including meninists, need to help create a voice for male victims of physical and sexual assault, since hypermasculinity has made a majority of men believe they are too strong to be taken advantage of by a woman. We also need to eradicate unrealistic body standards and let men know that they don’t need to look like the ones displayed in the media.
Other than people being ignorant to what feminism’s mission is, they are also blind to what individuals exactly do to achieve the goals of feminism. Feminism isn’t just about how women make $0.75 for every $1 a man makes, because it’s not even all women who make 75 cents per dollar; it’s only the white women. Women of color are paid much less than 75 cents. When people only focus on points like those, it’s actually referred to as “white feminism,” which is feminism that only focuses on white, middle class, cisgender women. On the other hand, when people focus on equality regardless of race, religion, sexuality, gender identity, and social class, it is called “intersectional feminism.” Intersectional feminism is important because it gives a voice for people of color and the LGBTQ+ community.
Together as a society, we should be helping all women have rights over their body, which involves making abortion legal. Not all people who are pro-choice would get an abortion; they just believe that women should get to make the choice, not the government or anyone else. Rape culture and slut-shaming are other big threats to women’s safety and well-being. Many rape victims are often asked, “Well, what were you wearing?” when the clothing they were wearing was not the cause of it; the only cause is the rapist not allowing the victim to have control in the situation. Even when women do have control and give consent, they are called derogatory terms such as “slut,” “whore,” “skank,” the list goes on and on.
Feminism is truly for everyone in this world, and more people need to become aware that it’s not just women who can call themselves feminists. You can help strengthen the feminist movement in simple ways, such as stop yourself from saying things like, “boys will be boys” or “you throw like a girl.” It’s these internalized thoughts that keep misogyny alive; if everyone takes a small step by taking these phrases out of their conversations, we can move on to larger things as I stated before. Everyone needs to realize that even though you are just one person, you have an impact. If all of us come together and fight misogyny and oppression, feminism’s goals will finally become completed.