Feminism Today

Grace Griffin, Writer

In the modern world, the term “feminism” seems to have lost its original meaning. Contrary to common belief, “feminism” simply means equality between men and women. Through the years it has been confused with the term “misandry”, which is the hatred or discrimination against men.

Many people, including women, do not see the need for feminism in the world today. Some believe that women and men are already equal. That is unfortunately not the case yet.

Feminism is still necessary and important in the modern world. Though society has advanced significantly since the 1920’s when women could not even vote, there is still discrimination against women today.

There are obvious factors in the U.S. alone that show the need for feminism. The wage gap between men and women is prevalent in every state of America and most people already know about it. This means that women do not make as much money as men for doing the same jobs. Washington D.C. is the best place for a woman to work, but women still only make $0.91 for every man’s dollar. This gap is even worse for women of color. As an average, hispanic women only make 54% of what white men make.

In America as well, one in six women has been a victim of attempted or completed rape. If you apply this statistic to Franklin High, that is roughly 150 girls. In Franklin that is about 2,726 women.

But America is only the tip of the gender discrimination iceberg.

Recently there has been a surplus of gender based acid attacks in Iran. If any woman shows her “female attractions” such as her hair or dancing, she is subjected to violent throwing of acid by men. In Iran, women are being disfigured, and some even killed, simply for being women.

In developing countries, most girls are not allowed to receive an education. In Somalia, 95% of girls age 7-16 have never been to school. You may also remember Malala Yousafzai, who was a 14 year old girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban returning from school. She has become an advocate for women’s education since.

In developing countries as well, child marriages are a big problem. One-third of girls in developing countries are forced into child marriages before they are even 18 years old. Young girls forced into these marriages are more likely to contract an STD or be a victim of domestic abuse by their partner than women who get married later.

Human and sex trafficking is also a global industry that mostly targets women and girls. Roughly 20.9 million people are exploited through human trafficking each year. Women and girls make up 98% of those people. Gender based poverty is part of the reason that women and girls are the main target. Women are universally seen as weaker and if they do not have shelter and resources they are even more vulnerable.

These few examples alone show the dire need for feminism still in today’s world.
Today’s feminism is not about hating men. It is not limited to one group of women either. It is about raising up all people who identify as female and giving them an equal part in the world today.