We need Feminism

We need Feminism

Paige Thompson, Staff

We’ve all heard the term “feminist” before. Whether it be in our daily conversations or overheard somewhere. What is feminism? Why do we need it?

“Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes,” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Adichie, an award winning author from Nigeria, has given a number of Ted talks.

This definition of feminism comes from a speech Adichie did at a TEDx talk entitled “We should all be feminists,” which is her most notable work to date.

In this speech, Adichie touches on various aspects of feminism and why we should all be feminists.

“We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man,” she said.

In 2014, women still earn just 77 percent of what their male co-workers make in the workplace.

Even today, women are still fighting for equality to men.

We live in a country where women have the right to vote, run for office, go to college and become doctors. This is, thankfully, vastly different from the society that the women before us lived in, and that is amazing.

We need feminism because we should not still be arguing over what a woman can and cannot do with her body. We should not be arguing about whether or not a woman should rightfully be able to obtain birth control, have an abortion and so on in a safe way.

We need feminism because women have the basic human right to do what she wants with her body. Why is that being dictated by a group of middle-aged white dudes who have an entirely different anatomy and do not need the same things?

We need feminism because women deserve the right to be able to choose what they do with their own bodies. We are in charge of ourselves, not men. If a woman wants birth control, she should be able to easily obtain it with no trouble. If a woman is raped (or not), gets pregnant, and wants an abortion, she should be able to safely have one if that is her decision. It is her choice.

We also live in a country where we no longer teach young girls that they should only aspire to get married, have kids, and be a stay at home mom while the husband “brings home the bacon.”

We need feminism because we live in a country where women and young girls are told that they are not beautiful because they do not look like they just got back from a photoshoot with “Sports Illustrated.”

Adichie states, in her speech, “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.”

This is still the case for a lot of young girls. Especially in a society that is addicted to social media. Women of all ages, shapes and sizes, who are active on social media or the Internet in general, are bombarded with images of the “ideal,” woman. When in reality, it is impossible to reach those standards. Especially because not even the model in the image fits that description. She has been photoshopped to look “perfect.”

We need feminism because we need to start teaching girls that no one is perfect. Everyone looks different and that is okay. There is not and will never be one cookie-cutter image that all women are going to fit into. We need feminism to teach girls that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. That just because she does not look like a photoshopped image does not mean she is not beautiful.

We need feminism because this is the 21st Century, not the 1800s. Women are doctors, professors, judges, lawyers, and so much more. We do the same jobs that men do, why not have the same pay and benefits?

We need feminism because women still get treated differently in positions of authority. Sometimes, people assume that women should not be in a position of authority because she will be too “sensitive,” or “emotional.” Which is a ridiculous claim.

Adichie also touches on the subject of women in the workforce. “We raise girls to see each other as competitors. Not for jobs or for accomplishments which I think can be a good thing. But for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”

We need feminism because in our day and age, we should not still be teaching girls that they need to compete for a man’s attention. We should be raising girls to aspire to things other than marriage and motherhood.

Many influential women such as Beyonce, who sampled Adichie’s Tedx speech in one of her latest hits, “Flawless,” have become advocates for feminism.

We need feminism because live in a country that overly sexualizes women. Especially in establishments such as Hooters, where the target customers are men…who are being served by women who have to wear short shorts and tank-tops as a “uniform.”

We need feminism now more than ever, as topics such as birth control and abortions are issues that are somewhat up in the air and still debated over.

We need feminism because, without it, we could take major steps back in the progress that we, and the women before us, have worked so hard for.