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West Torrance High School

Opinion: Feminism fails without intersectionality

It is not a stretch to say that women around the world are still given less respect, opportunities, and value than their male counterparts. The sexism around the world has led to feminism, but feminism itself has not led to equal women’s rights. 

This is because many women still have not joined the feminist movement — not because they do not support women’s rights but because they believe feminism forgets its true purpose. 

Although the movement stands up for women, we sometimes exclude certain types of women in the fight for equal rights. Many women have been neglected because we forget that when we speak of women’s rights, we are inescapably including Black rights, Muslim rights, LGBTQ rights, and rights of every classification of a female because there is so much more that defines a woman than just her gender. 

Take for instance, how we as Americans call our nation the home of the brave but become terrified of something as fragile as a scarf wrapped around a woman’s head. Some people like to pretend that she’s been brainwashed into wearing it and as if it’s egregious to do so. 

And at other times, women who walk out of their homes wearing revealing clothing are objectified, as if the clothes they wear determine their self-worth. Some also assume that women who choose to stay at home come from cultures that oppress their freedom, but we are not liberating someone by removing their identity. 

This form of hate comes from both men and women alike who call themselves feminists. Women and men should not only protect women of their kind but women of all kinds if they want to label themselves as a feminist. We need to accept the differences between women in order to truly make a difference for women. 

Modern-day feminism also doesn’t pay attention to the idea that different types of women may also have different interpretations of what it means to be a feminist. Some women try to push their own ideas of feminism upon other women and this causes people of the movement to be labeled as “feminazis.”

Each woman can face and fight against sexism in her own way because ultimately each woman has her own view of the movement. You can be a feminist by simply wearing the Venus symbol or you can be adventurous and fight it by chaining yourself to the fence of the White House as Alice Paul did in the 1900s. 

That means that women who choose to stay at home and bake bread for their families get the same amount of respect as the women who choose to become breadwinners for their families. That means a woman can walk out of her house wearing whatever she chooses to wear without facing any judgment from other men or women. 

The epitome of becoming a feminist is simply understanding other women and accepting their choices. In order to make feminism more respected as a movement, we must start respecting all types of women. Once each and every female feels that she is included, the movement will be able to succeed in granting women the same rights as men. Then hopefully, we will have a world where they are able to achieve their fullest potential.