Feminism. It is a controversial topic that everyone has different opinions on. However in this article I'll be sharing my opinions on feminism.
What is Feminism?
Feminism, by definition, is the belief that all sexes should be equal. The main misconception of feminism is that people believe it is the belief that women are superior - but this is not true. Feminism focuses on women's rights because these are the problems that women face every day.
Yes, there are extremist "feminists" out there who do believe that women are superior to men - but these are not real feminists. These are ignorant women who think that burning bras and not hearings tampons or pads will get them more rights.
Why do we need Feminism?
It is ridiculous to think that in 2017 women still have less rights and less privileges than men, but I am here to give facts (and my personal opinion) on why we still need feminism today.
We still need feminism because women still have to deal with catcalling. If you're female then you've probably experienced catcalling at some point in your life, and you will know that it is one of the most degrading and self-conscious enabling things that, for some reason, still happens. Catcalling is not a compliment to women, it is an insult. Do not tell me to smile, do not tell me I look "fine" today, and do not whistle at me. Women are not dogs.
We still need feminism because schools have a strict uniform policy for 'no skirts' and 'no tight trousers' because it will 'distract the boys and male teachers.' In America, these rules are even more strict with rules such as no shorts or vests. If my legs are going to distract someone from learning, then they are the problem. If you are sexualising young, teenage girls then you are the problem. Stop teaching girls to cover up and teach boys to have respect.
We still need feminism because in the US, a woman is raped every six seconds. Rape is still something that happens in this world, and some people even make fun of it. With social media use at a high, more and more people are making jokes and overall being insensitive about subjects such as rape. It took me thirty seconds to write this section - which means five women have been raped in the time it took me to write one paragraph. And five more in the time it took you to read it. I am aware that men get raped too. I am not saying they dont (and if you've read about feminism you'll know feminists acknowledge this too) but it happens to women more often, and the victim is almost always blamed. When a woman accuses a man of rape, she is usually asked what she was wearing and if she was drinking.
We still need feminism because women fear for their lives when they're walking home at night. So much so that people have invented "no-rape" underwear which are made out of a certain material that makes it impossible to pull, tear and cut. It is horrifying that companies need to produce these.
We need feminism because women are still told how to dress, talk and act. Not to mention they're told what jobs they can and can't do.
We still need feminism because women are not allowed to decide what happens to their own bodies. Abortion is illegal in many countries, which is ridiculous when you compare it to the fact that surgeons cannot take organs from dead bodies unless they gave permission when they were alive. Pregnant women have less rights than dead people. If the woman, or the baby, is in danger of dying or ill health, or she just cannot take care of the baby, then an abortion should be allowed. As long as the procedure is done before the baby develops, and mother isn't using abortion as birth control, then there should be no reason why she isn't allowed one.
My Experience with Feminism
I have talked about a small portion of reasons why this world needs feminism, but now I will talk about why I, as an individual, believe we need feminism.
I need feminism because when I was in high school, I was attacked and almost strangled by a boy in my year. The next day he went crying to the headmistress and when I was talking to her I was told to accept his apology and remain friends.
I need feminism because in the same school, I was given detention several times for wearing "tight trousers" because it would "distract male attention" - including the teachers.
I need feminism because when I was 12, a 16 year old student grabbed my butt and laughed about it to his friends. Four years later, in a different school, a guy in my class decided to push himself onto me, touching me inappropriately, and when I told him to stop he laughed and pretended he had a crush on me.
I need feminism because whenever I'm angry at a male friend, I get asked if I'm on my period.
I need feminism because when I told a friend I liked him, he decided the next day that it was okay to grab my chest on the bus ride home. I sat there, completely still, and he carried on until I shoved him away.
I need feminism because when I accidentally got hit in the face with a whiteboard marker and ended up with a black eye, the next week of school consisted of blowjob jokes.
I need feminism because I am constantly told that I am overweight, that my thighs are too big, my stomach is too round, my forehead is too big, my hair is too short and my spots look ugly. Women are always pressured to be perfect, like the women in magazines and on TV. But those women are photoshopped and they're twisted versions of reality. Nobody is perfect, and that's okay.
I need feminism because I still feel the need to explain why I'm a feminist. I need feminism because I felt the need to write this article to inform and educate people on the topic.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.