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Feminism is still needed in society for equality

I’m an unabashed, unapologetic feminist.

I’ve been given a lot of mixed responses when I’ve shared this information in the past; some applaud me for my strong standpoint, others send mixed signals, explaining that they fully support women’s rights, but would never take to such an “extreme” identification. Then, of course, there are those who are completely opposed to the ideal.

Perhaps the most disturbing detail about the last group isn’t that most of them are necessarily against the equality of women in society. Rather, it’s the fact that many of them simply think that feminism isn’t necessary in modern life. After all, women have made great strides in recent years, and surely they don’t have a number of obstacles to overcome in this day and age, right?

Unfortunately, it’s this very attitude that enforces the need for feminism the most.

The other day, I was thinking about a conversation that I’d had with a relative not long before the beginning of the school year. We got into a discussion about the specifics of my education, and eventually got on the topic of my passion for feminism and my incessant need to fight for women’s rights.

He didn’t seem to like this last idea. In his mind, sexism wasn’t an issue in society, and he explained that I should be “careful” about calling myself a feminist, citing the negative connotation that is associated with the term.

Seeing that it would do no good to get into a full-blown debate with him about the subject [taking into consideration his bull-headed persona], I decided to gear the conversation into another direction, and eventually we went off topic into something more mundane. Before I left, however, he shared a final bit of “advice” for me to take before I left for school: I really should be careful about being so assertive and unrepentant in regards to feminism; some men, he cautioned, might see that as a “challenge.”

I left with this last thought in mind, pointing out all the reasons why everything he’d said to me about the “dangers” of feminism is exactly why it is so desperately needed.

Feminism is necessary in modern society for a number of reasons, ranging from slight and subtle to more forceful and dynamic. Take the last piece of [admittedly, well-meaning] advice from my relative, for example, telling me to be careful about my firm, shameless feministic ways. Not only is the simple act of giving me such advice evidence of the importance of feminism, but the fact that it rings all too true for females advocates the point, as well.

The evidence becomes even more apparent when dealing with more serious matters, such as sexual assault or issues in the workforce. First, the fact that females are at a significantly high risk of being sexually assaulted, regardless of where they are, what they’re doing or what they’re wearing, is a major reason as to why we need feminism.

What’s more, females may very well be blamed for the assault, which further supports this notion. As far as the workforce is concerned, the fact that, in general, women are viewed as a liability means that they earn less than men for doing the same job. With these few examples in mind [though there are many more], is it really a stretch to say that feminism is a necessary force in society?

The list of reasons why we need feminism is endless, but the last, most important point is the fact that people —both males and females alike— think that sexism is nonexistent and feminism doesn’t matter. If people don’t recognize the issues and obstacles women have to overcome, there will be little to no progress in society as a whole. And that, precisely, is why we need the feministic principle.

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