One of the things that aggravates me the most is when someone tries to tell me there is no need for feminism in today’s society. What an ignorant thing to say.
I can assure you that sexism and misogyny are very real and very alive. As I have grown into a young woman, I have been shown this more and more with each passing day.
I am sure there is no need for me to drone on about statistics that everyone is well aware of. It is no secret that far too many women and young girls are sex trafficked, sexually abused, not granted fundamental rights, and not allowed to receive an education.
How disgusting is that? What happens to girls around the world is horrendous, but what could arguably be even worse is that there are still people that turn a blind eye to it.
I say “drone on” when speaking of statistics because I am sure everyone my age is well aware of how many girls suffer globally in this world, which makes the fact that I am still told amongst my male peers that feminism “is not needed” that much more infuriating.
It is no secret that here in America I am granted more rights than many other females, but the law can only protect us so much.
The first time I realized this was the summer before my senior year of high school. I was at Huntington Beach with two friends, and we were walking back to our car. Since we were at the beach, we had on jean shorts and our bikini tops, typical beach attire.
On our way back to our car we passed by three middle-aged men. As we began to get closer to these men, something started to turn in my stomach. I ignored this feeling and told myself I was stupid.
As we passed these men, they began to whistle at us. We started to pick up our pace amidst the discomfort. Their catcalling did not stop there. They proceeded to shout at us that they wanted to “spread our legs” and made other obscene comments.
I had never been so blatantly sexualized before. I felt disgusted with myself and wanted to cover every inch of skin I had immediately.
The law can attempt to protect us from unequal pay, rapists, and discrimination, but it cannot change the attitude that some hold in regards to women.
In the year to follow since then, I have come to learn that this is not an odd occurrence. My story does not come close to comparing to those of others, but I still believe that my voice matters.
I think of feminism like a commercial ad. If someone argues with me over feminism being necessary here in America, I try to explain that I must defend my rights that women before me were not always granted, just as a company would constantly push their brand. If a company does not do this, sales likely decrease. You have to continually make people aware of your product to ensure a booming business. This is a similar situation for female rights. If women go silent, we will surely lose what thousands of women before us fought for.
Moreover, I will personally not rest until every female has equal rights to that of a man and misogyny and sexism are killed off in the finale like the villains they are.
So to anyone that believes I am wrong for being a feminist and being passionate about my fight for equality, wake up and open your eyes to the reality around you. Our fight is not over.