In 2016 not many people know the true meaning of feminism or what feminism is as a whole. The majority of people seem to fear the word and see it as man hating or females thinking that women are superior. As the world has grown strongly against this word women in particular have ignored the true definition and why they should proudly call themselves a feminist. These are the reasons why I think Feminism is needed more than ever in the 21st century.
The actual meaning of feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. I understand this as the equal rights of both men and women not about women thinking they are better than men but equal. In the 21st century more and more female celebrities including Emma Watson and Nicole Kidman have joined forces with the UN for Women and have become ambassadors of this charity where they are “dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women” and are global champions for women and girls.
The UN for Women have started a movement called HeForShe which is for gender equality pointed towards men who want to join the feminist movement. On the website men can sign up to the HeForShe commitment, “I am one of billions of men who believe equality for women is a basic human right that benefits us all. And I commit to taking action against gender discrimination and violence in order to build a more just and equal world.” I completely agree with that statement and if I was myself a man, I would sign up in a heartbeat.
Feminism is for both genders. The stereotypical idea of being a “man” is to be strong and not to show any feminine qualities, such as crying when they are hurting or feeling emotional. This is not right. Men shouldn’t have to deny their emotions because that it’s what is to be “manly”. Men should be able to show their emotions. In a speech ambassador Emma Watson referred to suicide being the biggest killer of men between the ages of 20-49 years old in the UK. In 2013 the percentage of suicides by men was 78% that is a drastic increase from 1981 when it was 63%.
It has come to a point where men and women can’t act or say as they wish. Society says men and women have to fit into a certain box. I should be able to grow up and be who I want to be. I should be able as a female to choose a career because I am interested in it. I shouldn’t be judged as strange or automatically seen as a tomboy because I want to a job that is stereotypically for men such as a Policeman. Men should also be able to pursue their passion for hairdressing and not be called girly or gay.
Inequality is still out there in the world. In many countries women are not allowed to have an education. But an inspirational young woman decided to fight for her right for an education. At the age of 15 Malala Yousafzai was targeted by the Taliban, a middle-east organisation because she wanted to be educated. Malala was shot on a school bus in the North West Pakistan by one of the Taliban. After being in hospital for a week Malala woke up, this was the start of her campaign of trying to get education for women across her own country. Her hard work and dedication to this issue gained her the Nobel Peace Prize of 2015.
In the majority of history females are seen as second class citizens. It wasn’t right for women to have a career because they were supposed to stay home and look after the children. Eventually women became fed up and fought for equal rights, these women were known as Suffragettes and theses were they first feminists. These were the first females to question why they were being treated differently but in the 21st inequality still exists. Women don’t get paid the same wage as men do. In 2011 a male doctor would earn an hourly rate of £35.45 but a female doctor would earn £25.35 that is a difference of 28.5% and they are doing the exact same job. In recent years the gap between wages has closed slightly but still not equal. Women shouldn’t be treated differently to men. We are all human and it does not make sense to me that a women who is doing the exact same job as a man will be paid less.
However many women are completely against feminism. The campaign Women Against Feminism has lots of support from women who don’t need feminism. On their website they say that feminism is “A “movement” that advocates for the rights of one gender over another is sexist and inequal by nature…”
Many of the women who support this organisation have said that they don’t need feminism because they aren’t a victim. If there wasn’t feminism in history women wouldn’t be able to vote, have a job or be able to choose how to live their life. They may not be one of those many women who are under payed because of their gender but without feminism Women would be under strict rules and regulations.
Additionally women don’t need feminism because they don’t want women to be superior. Feminism isn’t a female orientated matter it was started by women and is for both genders. Feminism is the advocacy for equality of the sexes. If you believe differently you don’t understand the definition.
In conclusion I would proudly call myself a feminist because I believe and understand that feminism is about equality. I completely disagree with females who don’t need feminism because without it we would be in a very different world. Feminism is for everyone. All we want it equality and that is what we will get one day.