Womens Issues

Is Feminism Still Relevant?

10 reasons why I still need feminism.


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!

Avatar of Auriane Desombre

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: 142 Comments

  1. Avatar of Marsha Reed

    Marsha Reed

    Feminism is the answer to a problem. A problem that still exists today in 2017. As long as there is a problem, there will be cause to have feminism. Why is there still a problem? Because there’s a lot of unintelligent people roaming around making bad decisions.

  2. Avatar of Lauren Knight

    Lauren Knight

    We need people who believe that men and women are equal and should be given equal rights. We need feminism.

  3. Avatar of Pam Reyes

    Pam Reyes

    Even today, sports and science are seen as arenas for men while arts and literature are seen as arenas for women. Women are treated as the weaker gender. We have seats in buses and metros reserved for women and this practice further emphasizes on the fact that women are weaker than men.

  4. Avatar of Myra Sullivan

    Myra Sullivan

    Yes, we do need feminism. In today’s world feminism is highly essential. Today in the urban society, that seems to be very liberal patriarchy isn’t far away. We always have people around us dictating how a woman should dress, what time she should step out, how she should conduct herself.

  5. Avatar of Melba Guzman

    Melba Guzman

    If you’re a woman, had a job, dealt with a family, tried to date. I stand on the shoulders of greater women than me, and I have a lot more freedoms, but if you don’t think this is still an everyday struggle, you aren’t paying attention.

  6. Avatar of Ellen Padilla

    Ellen Padilla

    Inequality will hinder a woman in so many ways. Let’s put that behind.

  7. Avatar of Kathy Beck

    Kathy Beck

    I hope that this article changes your mind about your views in feminism.

  8. Avatar of Karla Alvarez

    Karla Alvarez

    Well-written article about everything you need to know about feminism.

  9. Avatar of Jodi Thornton

    Jodi Thornton

    It’s not about putting down another gender, it’s helping others be their best.

  10. Avatar of Patricia Mann

    Patricia Mann

    Feminism isn’t all about equality. It’s being humane towards each of the sexes.

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