Is Feminism Still Relevant? - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

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Is Feminism Still Relevant?

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A friend of mine once stopped dating a guy after he told her that her feminist ideals were “a turn off.” What he was saying, of course, is that he doesn’t want to date a woman who demands equal treatment and respect, because that’s just no fun. Incidentally, he’s still single, but he’s not alone in his mentality. A lot of people believe feminism has a negative effect on society. Others argue that though feminism was once necessary, it’s irrelevant now. But they’re both wrong.

Is Feminism Still Relevant?

Is Feminism Still Relevant?I still need feminism because society misuses women’s bodies. Flip through a magazine and look at the way they sexualize even young girls. Stroll down the street and hear all the catcalling and street harassment that reduces women to ambient sex objects. Walk past newsstands with Photoshopped women on the magazine covers and the headlines telling us what our priorities should be: to “Be Beautiful”, “Tone Every Inch!”, “Resize Your Thighs” and “Get a Sexy Body!”. 80% of ten-year-old girls have dieted in the hopes of conforming and looking more like these fantasy images. Isn’t middle school tough enough without adding pressure to maintain a perfect body before you hit puberty?

I still need feminism because women have a harder time in the workplace as well. The wage gap of 77 cents on the dollar is by now a well-known figure. Not only are women paid less, there are fewer women in positions of power, both in the political and the business world. That means society doesn’t value the work that women bring, even if it’s the same as men.

Is Feminism Still Relevant?I still need feminism because women of color are underrepresented and unheard. The wage gap is even worse for women of color, who according to some estimates make as little as 54 cents for every dollar a man earns. As for representation, women of color are rarely given starring roles in mainstream media. More often than not, Hollywood delegates them to typecast supporting roles.

I still need feminism because lesbianism is okay in front of a camera, but still isn’t fully accepted in our society. Many lesbians feel that society views their love as acceptable only if it’s for the benefit and viewing pleasure of men. But women’s happiness should matter in its own right, independent from male desire.

I still need feminism because rape culture is so overpowering, women have to look at every man as Schrödinger’s rapist. Instead of helping survivors, society finds ways to blame the victims. All that matters is that she said no, but too many people still refuse to accept that. Women have the right to feel safe at all times, but because of the perpetuation of rape culture, this is rarely the case.

Is Feminism Still Relevant?I still need feminism because men seem to think it’s ok to police women’s choices. Women’s health issues are the subject of constant controversy. Sexual choices always come with judgment, no matter what she decides to do. Articles about “fashion trends men hate” pervade the internet, even though the average guy’s closet isn’t exactly fashion central. Who gave men the right to dictate what women should wear? Whether she’s choosing a miniskirt or a hijab, women must be free to make these kinds of choices.

I still need feminism because women are attacked and vilified for rejecting men. Women who “friend-zone” men by refusing to sleep with them get called a bitch, as though it’s a woman’s duty to deliver sex on command. And often, refusal becomes dangerous as men stalk, harass, or physically harm women who turned them down. Women have died for turning down prom dates, breaking up with boyfriends, or not responding to catcalling. It’s time we started fighting for women’s right to turn down romantic and sexual advances. Her right to no should always trump his desire for yes.

Is Feminism Still Relevant?I still need feminism because the word is tarnished by the male-run mainstream media. Too many people see feminism as wrong. Many people, including women, are turning away from feminism. They associate the movement with aggressive bitches, shrill harpies, and hairy lesbians. These huge negative connotations lead to things like the completely disheartening ‘Women Against Feminism’ tumblr page. There, women post photos with signs like “I don’t need feminism because I like men” and “A good man raised me, a great man loves me, millions died for me, and they don’t deserve your shit” and “Men have been predestined to be the head; the role for men is to be leaders, not us” andIs Feminism Still Relevant? “As a Christian I follow the bible’s commands that I submit to my husband in all things, and this makes my marriage stronger.”

Feminism was supposed to be the one area in society where women could talk about their issues and seek change. Instead, attitudes like this confuse what feminism is all about, and still make it all about men.

I still need feminism because teenage girls need feminists. Right now, there are thousands of teen girls across the country struggling to find their place in society. They’re doing it with the media idealizing one form of beauty and putting down everyone else. They’re doing it with too few female role models in positions of power to inspire them. They’re doing it with the knowledge that even if they somehow break the glass ceiling and make it as far as a man does, they’ll still get paid less. They’re doing it with society pitted against them in so many ways, they can’t make a choice without getting vilified. I still need feminism because the place society has reserved for them now isn’t good enough.

Why do you still need feminism? Let us know in the comments!

Born in France but raised all over the place, Auriane has wanted to write ever since she was old enough to spell her name. In her spare time she loves reading, hanging out with her best friends (even when they're not in the same time zone), and spontaneous singing with her Broadway-bound roommate.

15 Comments

  1. Jane Doe

    While I will agree that the WORLD needs to continue a press for equality… I disagree that we in the west need “feminism”. In the U.S. women have all the same rights as men and more. Most of the “reasons” sited by the young and naïve author above are either entirely false, skewed in order to perpetuate the narrative or perpetuated by women in today’s society.

    If you want to know why magazines are filled with beautiful people to advertise products, it is because it works to sell said products. Simple economics really. Women like looking at beauty just as much if not more than men. In addition, take a look at the men modeling to sell products… No guys with beer guts there! Thus your first point is without merit.

    Second, the wage gap is a myth. This has been refuted time and again but pro-feminist writers continue to trot it out again and again. It is not the burden of society to place you in a job that you are not qualified for. And furthermore, it is again simple economics. If corporations could get their work done for less by hiring women, then men would have a hard time ever finding a job. This is simply false and I defy you to present any real and hard evidence to the contrary. It is not the fault of society that your “gender studies” major does not offer you the same employment opportunities as a law degree!!! Make better choices, ladies!

    “Rape Culture”… Puh-leeese!!! All men and women know and are “taught” that rape is wrong. Just like murder and theft, etc… If a person is so morally bankrupt as to become a rapist, then no amount of “education” is going to stop that person from attemting to rape. Slut-shaming??? I’m sorry, but if sleeping with 10 people in a week is your thing, then by all means do you, but don’t expect the rest of society to agree with your choices or to line up to be number 11. C’mon, that’s just gross and irresponsible.

    If you cannot afford contraception and your partner can’t either, then perhaps you should abstain from sex…? I think we can all agree that sex does come with risks and also RESPONSIBILITY…? It is not a basic survival need, so stop treating it as such or worse yet as a sport. I might also add that while I am not a pro-life advocate, the idea of abortion as contraception is disgusting and that is putting it mildly.

    Being convicted of rape in this country is by far worse than being convicted of murder. Do you have any idea what happens to rapists and pedophiles when they go to prison? If not, then look into it. To say that we as society perpetuate a rape culture is beyond insulting. Victim-blaming??? This just does not happen. Find a detective and ask. Just untrue. And would you have us do away completely with the due process of law??? When the mere accusation can ruin a person’s life? You speak of JUSTICE yet you apparently do not know the definition of the word…

    While you have the dictionary out, look up the word egalitarianism. For all that want to promote equality, this is the ideology that you should subscribe to. And, if you are going to write an article, in the future try to do some real research.

    Best to you!

  2. Roald Holmberg

    Either comments are being deleted, or people for some reason think feminism is needed in the West. Well, it’s not. Read some of the posts on that site, most actually make good arguments.

    • We don’t delete comments unless they are offensive or don’t make sense. Read some of the posts on what site?

  3. Lily

    What puzzles me is it seems like there are so many young women in the “I don’t need feminism” camp. Ladies, please never forget what your mothers and grandmothers sacrificed for.

  4. Hannah Meyers

    I am still learning the ropes of this feminism thing. But one thing’s for sure, I know that women can fair equally with men – regardless of the job, task, or even the strength.

  5. Francis Woods

    Ug. Those women in the “I don’t need feminism” board. SUCH IDIOTS!! Gah.

  6. Christine Muchoe

    I think a lot of people who are against feminism are just ignorant and completely unaware of what it actually means. It’s not wanting women to be better than men, it’s just wanting us to be treated as fairly and to be against that is ridiculous.

    • Citlaly Garcia

      You can’t be a feminist & advocate for equal rights when women will always get the upper hand in custody cases & less jail sentences for the same crime a man commits. Just cause he has a dick doesn’t make him more dangerous than you 🙂

  7. It’s certainly a sad state of affairs when women are hurting the feminist movement. I think it speaks to how brainwashed and confused our culture has become around this issue. It almost makes me want to change the word feminism to something else that would allow for a new conversation. The fact that we’re still talking about equality in the 21st century is very sad. I’m optimistic for a better future though!

  8. I. LOVE. YOUR. THOUGHTS.
    It’s like you voiced out mine. I have a friend who married a guy who thinks that her opinions don’t matter. He wanted to treat her like a housewife, do this do that, he doesn’t want her to work and have a life of her own. Now that’s something that every man should change. Women have every right to do what they want, as long as the marriage is not compromised. We need feminism. We need to change the way everyone thinks about us.

  9. Gabrielle Williams

    Honestly, how any woman could be so ignorant as to think that American women don’t need feminism anymore is beyond me. What unfortunate dummies.

  10. Trish Potter

    The world definitely still needs feminism – or what ever label you want to give to equal rights in all areas for females young and old. Thanks Urbanette for the insightful article which needs to get shared!

  11. Courtney Watson

    Wow – the women posting on that “I don’t need feminism” site are so uneducated / unaware. They simply have no clue what feminism is all about. Maybe before embarrassingly posting their ignorant opinions online, they should do a tiny teensy bit of research to learn about the topic they’re pontificating about. Jesus.

    • Melani Kalev

      Agreed! They wouldn’t even have to do the research, just think a bit more further than the word itself. People must be blind not to see how unequal the world is. It’s not only the case for the US, it’s all over the world, with the difference of how bad the situation is from one country to another. I think that many ignorant people who are against feminism wouldn’t be against it, if the word expressing what we “fight” for would be “equality” or something of the sort.

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