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

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Is Feminism Still Relevant?

10 reasons why I still need feminism.

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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?

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?

Is Feminism Still Relevant?I still need feminism because women have a hard time being taken seriously in the workplace. 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.

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 the men in charge in Hollywood systematically rape, abuse and oppress women. And they almost never fund female-written or directed films. Film and TV are major contributors to the way women are viewed in society, and women’s oppressors are shaping our culture.

Is Feminism Still Relevant?

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.

Is Feminism Still Relevant?I still need feminism because it’s still normal to ask “what was she wearing?”, “was she drunk?”, or “does she get around?” and victim blame women who’ve been raped. In fact, rape culture is so overpowering, women have to look at every man as Schrödinger’s rapist. Rape culture is everywhere: in Hollywood, in business, in the military, in colleges. And 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.

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 too many men don’t respect women. 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 routinely die for speaking their mind to men they are intimate with, or 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?

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.

Is Feminism Still Relevant?

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.

Reader Discussion: 104 Comments

  1. Tracy Anderson

    Oh men… This picture saying It’s not rape made me furious. That’s just a way to clear oneself from the responsibility. People over here are crazy and I don’t get why some people can’t see what’s wrong with men. And it’s even worse when it’s women saying that rape is not men’s fault.

  2. Hanno Jaan Niidas

    Feminism remains relevant. Jane Austen and Emily Brontë were not feminists, as we understand the meaning of the expression today, but their writings liberated the generations that followed, corroding the barriers that separated people, including genders. To them we all owe the possibility of healthier sentimental relationships.

  3. Rape is a crime all over the world. Even if there are laws to fight this unforgivable crime, it goes to show that they are not enough to protect women completely. Aside from the laws, to prevent this crime is to change the way men think of women as an objects. Aside from somehow changing the yearning men usually feel for women, it can be a great start to protect women.

    • Hi Roe, I agree — men need to be educated. But I also think that rape usually has more to do with oppression, power, entitlement and anger than it does straight-up hornyness (is that a word?!) IMHO, my guess is that most rapists do it because it makes them feel powerful…

  4. Francis Vest

    This is so true. Especially on social media now, girls are being judged in all different ways. Just so sad!

  5. Helen Boone

    Girls, please! Just an advice to women like me. Stop slut shaming, please, please? We had all our moments when we wore those skimpy jeans, tube top or haltered dresses. Let women be confident on whatever they choose and will choose to wear.

  6. Alicia Spillers

    This article is an eye-opening an very informative that it tackles sensitive issues that people usually avoid to talk about. Awareness is the key for all we need is to live without stepping on to someone else’s rights.

  7. Mary Bobo

    Because women’s appearance is always under the radar. No matter if you are a celebrity, politician, from the upper class, or a normal citizen, women are always under the eyes of the people (both men and women). Often times, appearance becomes a basis on how you should be treated when it shouldn’t be. I do have friends who dress very differently and the one who always wears black, ripped jeans, black lipsticks are being called weird and the other one who dresses like a normal working girl gets prioritize but sometimes catcalled. So it means, no matter what you wear you won’t be treated the same as other. And that is what Feminism needs to change.

    • Edna Badillo

      I hope men and women who reached this article would be enlightened on what Feminism truly is about.

  8. Linda Williams

    We need to make sure that Feminism lives because America is still a Patriarchy. It is not men is at fault, but the society has been dominated by men leaders for the longest time now and it became the norm. And women are known to be just supporting or in the house.

    • Susan Rice

      Men can always be a leader and women too at the same time. Feminism is not about removing men from the equation but just to live equally like them.

  9. Mildred Davis

    Feminism is still relevant because now I do not understand why there are only like few women serving the US Senate and 80% are men while in fact, the population is dominated by women. So, the question is why? Possibly, most women do not believe in our own capabilities or just there is just something fishy going on at the back of the curtain.

    • Michelle Lee

      We need Feminism so having women leaders can help with the laws and rights for women empowerment.

  10. Chris Moris

    Being a Feminist knows no gender. I am a husband, a father and a brother. I can proudly say that I am a Feminist, in my family, I have two beautiful daughters, an amazing wife, loving mother and two incredible sisters. Having so many girls around me opened my eyes to the issues women are facing now. And I am in any way supporting Feminism as I want my daughters to live in a world where they can have the same and equal rights as others.

    • Monique Malick

      Wow! Your wife, daughters, sisters, and mother are very lucky to have a man like you in their family. You are doing the right thing and we are all hoping for the same kind.

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