A Male Defense of Feminism

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy has put up signs around campus for a hashtag “HeforShe” with facts about women. For instance, one says “women make 76 cents on the dollar.” In August, President Obama had an essay published in Glamour magazine called, “This is what a Feminist Looks Like,” with a woman just steps away from the White House, misogyny and discrimination are coming to the forefront. Hillary Clinton is about to burst through the largest glass ceiling of all time. President Obama became the first African-American president, women have fought a battle from the beginning to be equal to men, and this may be to catalyst to make this a reality.

Today, little girls will be able to say, “Someday I want to be President,” without a parent humoring their daughter because it will be a reality. It is astonishing that today, in the freest nation on Earth, the greatest democracy, women are not thought of as equals to some. It has not even been a full hundred years since women obtained the right to vote in the 19th amendment in 1920. Women did not have the right to own property until the fair housing acts in the 60s.

The attitude towards women today is better than it has been, but much still needs to change. Women are underrepresented in government, business, and math and science fields. This has nothing to do with an unequal intelligence level. On the contrary, women tend to be smarter than men. Women are more driven and hardworking. This may be because of all the barriers women had to break to get to today. Women have proven themselves in the hardest echelons of physical training in each branch of the military. Some woman today may choose to take care of kids and that is completely their decision. Women can be whatever they choose to be, that is the point of feminism.

The 20th century saw the largest push for women’s rights ever. However, the 20s and 50s which are so romanticized in Americana were some of the most misogynistic eras in history. The 20s saw the freedom of women start, but when people think of the roaring 20s and the image by ‘The Great Gatsby’, the narrative is different from reality. We look at the women of this decade as free and able to be their own person, but much of this is sexualized. In the 50s women were looked at not much more than a nanny. Men were the breadwinners and women were to stay at home, raise kids, clean, cook, and fulfil every request a husband may have. Women have been seen as sexual objects and property in history. What people seem to ignore is the fact that without women, humanity would not exist. Women bring life to our world, but that is not the end of the story. Women can do what they please, whether it is getting an education, having a family, being a CEO or being the President of the United States of America. Women are equal to men, if not at a higher level. Imagine if women were the dominant gender in society. People claim women are weak or emotional or unstable, but this is so arrogant. Women are strong, women are intelligent, women deserve respect and exaltation.

The 2016 election has certainly perpetuated ridiculous stereotypes about women and make sexualizing women and joking about sexual assault “locker room talk.” Donald Trump, even before his campaign and war on women, has been one of the most outspoken critics of women. Trump believes women are “dogs,” “pigs,” “bimbos,” etc. Trump, in the now infamous Access Hollywood tape advocates groping women because they will do anything if one is rich and powerful. Ten or more women have come forward accusing Trump of sexual assault. Trump not only down played all this as “locker room talk,” but also threatened to sue each of these women. Trump supporters also advocated for the repeal of the 19th amendment because Trump would win in a landslide with just men. Due to his attitude towards women, the rape culture currently plaguing our nation subsides some more. We have seen day in and day out some football player abusing his wife, a college student (see Brock Turner) convicted of rape and given less than a slap on the wrist, and a general disdain and lack of respect towards women. If our Universities and society allow this rhetoric and try and push sexual assault under the rug we can never progress.

Some men seem afraid of women and especially of feminism. Why men believe women deserve less for equal work is insane. There is no argument to advocate that. Feminism is seen as an aggressive attack on men and trying to take their rights away. On the contrary, feminism makes our world freer and enables more progression and success. In any ideology, there are some who take it too far, but most are fighting for equality and respect. Women can be the breadwinner of a family without emasculating a man. A man should hope for success for his wife. Love is about support and respect. Men can also stay home and take care of kids. Gender norms are the other big problem holding our society back.

Feminism is an ideology everyone should fight for. Women are equal. Women should make the same amount of money as men, have the same opportunities, and get maternal leave from the government, if they choose to have a family. Women deserve respect and not misogynistic rhetoric and jokes. Women should not have to fear being extorted, touched or harassed. Women bring life to our world, and without their sacrifices we would cease to exist. 

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