There are many different ways that people define the word “feminist.” For example, Merriam Webster defines it as “a theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Keep in mind I do consider myself a feminist, also meaning I do support the equal treatment of males and females, but day after day I continue to see unacceptable standards set for women by not only men, but the media as well.
I do very strongly believe it is hard to be a woman in today’s society. We are constantly compared to certain beauty standards, such as having a big butt to be desired by men or having a large chest. We are told that we should be smart, but not smarter than our male counterparts. To be confident, but not too overbearing. To be successful, but to never outshine a man in what we are participating in. It is harder for us to find equally paying jobs in comparison to our male co-workers. It is harder for us in society to be respected overall.
So, I go back to the drawing board, and ask myself, when did this happen? Why is this still an issue when we are living in a much more progressive society than the rest of the world? I remember things I would always see in my history textbook. Men were usually working on the fields while the women were taking care of the household. That was the accepted standard. A white man always had the right to vote, but women didn’t possess that right until 1920. Of course, that was back then. But why does “back then” feel so similar to now? I will admit I’m thankful for the many female empowerment leaders, like women such as Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Carly Fiorina, and Oprah Winfrey, and I’m proud of the many advancements that women have made in the workforce. However, I don’t appreciate a man gawking at the idea that a woman should get equal pay, or that a woman is scared to walk on the street alone, or that a woman is doing better than them on a soccer field. As women, we have every right to be as successful as men are, as strong as in body and in mind, and appreciated for what we contribute to the world.
I’m not stereotyping and saying every man does this. But the fact that a majority of young men these days do not know how to properly treat a woman with kindness and give her the respect she deserves is very aggravating.
So yes, if you tell me women have it easy in today’s society, I won’t believe you. The truth is that men do not know what women have had to endure in society, or how our rights have been revoked and laughed at. They don’t know that we fear being the 1 in 6 women to get raped in their lifetime. They don’t know how frustrated we are by the wage gap. They won’t know because they aren’t in our shoes, and that’s fine. Don’t act freaked out when a woman is becoming the leader in a sea full of men. Don’t act like just because we have menstrual cycles that we are too weak, too emotional or too fragile to do anything as well as a man can. Females are gaining confidence and I only hope this confidence will grow in society from here on out. We have every right to be successful, to be respected, and to be leaders. Therefore, if one doesn’t believe that, you’re stuck in “back then” and not 2017.
Written by Grayson Ruiz