Staff Editorial: Feminism is not just a woman’s fight
Throughout our campus, we see both men and women pursuing different career opportunities, but it was not too long ago that the only education most women received was taught within the walls of their homes .Although feminism has come a long way, that does not mean that women are on an even playing field with men.
Many think that because we are not taking to the streets marching as Gloria Steinem did in the ’70s that feminism is dead; to some it has even become a bad word. Many young women do not see identifying themselves as feminists as something positive. Female celebrities like “Fault in Our Starts” star Shailene Woodley are not an exception. Woodley has made public comments about not being feminist and instead considers herself a “humanist.” Still, there are brave souls that go out of their way to let the world know that the fight for women’s equality is still in progress.
On Sept. 20, actress Emma Watson, known for her role as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movies, addressed the United Nations about the hardships women and girls face because of their gender. During her speech, she emphasized that feminism, which is just another word for equality, is more than just a woman’s fight. Men also need to play a key role in the movement.
Gender inequality not only limits women’s attributes to being delicate, nurturing and emotional — it also harms men by creating the pressure of having to fit into the stereotypes of being strong and always in charge. Pitting the genders against each other is no way for our society to become safer and more progressive. The messages that children and adults receive about gender need to be changed collaboratively.
Little girls should be encouraged to play with more than Barbies by not just their mothers but also by their fathers, brothers and uncles. Little boys should be encouraged to explore their nurturing side. Men should be unafraid to stand up for each other and for the women in their lives and around the world. Although there are benefits to having actresses use a platform that the average person does not have to spread the word, real and long lasting-change occurs outside the U.N. chambers.
Showing support for women’s equality is not something that men should save for just a few days of the year or certain occasions. It should be part of everyday life. It implies being brave enough to tell your boys that joke with a misogynistic tone was not funny; it means not judging the women in your life based on their looks; and most of all it means believing in everything women are and can aspire to be.
So speak, share and let all the voices be heard. Progress will not be achieved if half of the population is not involved in the conversation.