Why is Feminism Still Important?


Malala Yousafzai: Education for Girls|Simon Davis| Flickr

Malala Yousafazai is an advocate for women’s education in Afghanistan. She first gained attraction when she was shot by the Taliban for speaking. She is the youngest Nobel Piece Prize winner for her efforts.

Several centuries of discrimination against women resulted in the formation of feminism. 

Men have been constantly on top in terms of existence in a community from inequality in pay to people in China preferring boys over girls in society. 

It was time for change that was needed like all things in the world. During the late 1800s and so on, women being viewed as actual human beings rather than property gained traction. The Women’s Rights Movement took on the fight for gender equality between men and women. Later, sexism wasn’t as prominent as it was a few decades earlier. 

Women have profited from the movement as a result of their efforts.

“I think feminism stemmed from women who recognized their value in society and recognized that they weren’t being treated the way they should have been,” freshman Erin Williams said. “Those women build up the feminism movement and made great strides in equality among men today.” 

Today’s women have access to higher education, the opportunity to vote, and an equal level of pay to men.

“It’s very important to me because, without it, I wouldn’t be able to have certain rights like going to school,” freshman Saylor McClain said. 

Showing up to a protest is a strong way to show your support for a cause. Standing up for what people believe in is a strong way to fight for what you believe in (Matt_Hrkac|Roe V Wade OVERTURNED: Protest to defend US Abortion Rights|Flickr)

Inventions from women weren’t possible to make without them having to experience constant sexism and discrimination. Despite this, women have been able to overcome it. Without women in STEM or other sophisticated fields of education, we would not be able to have things like Wi-Fi, invented by Hedy Lamarr, bulletproof fiber, invented by Stephanie Kwolek, or even simple things in life like chocolate chip cookies, which were created by Ruth Wakefield.

Though, it’s still very much an issue that still exists today. Feminism is important to find change in inequality within genders since countries like China and Afghanistan still see women as below men and have discriminated against social rules or laws that affect women negatively. While China’s one-child policy was in place, people would often dispose of or kill babies that were girls in hopes of getting a baby boy next time. It’s rooted in Chinese culture when it comes to male preference. Men would be viewed as the ones who brought in the income and carried out most of the family responsibilities. The bloodline would also be passed down through the male side of the family as part of the tradition. 

Women still face crimes for simply existing. Women have to constantly live in fear and have to constantly be very aware of their surroundings even if they’re just out for a walk. CDC states how sexual violence is common. Over half of the population of women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. One in three women experience sexual harassment in public, and one in four women have experienced rape too. Though, this isn’t to say that men haven’t experienced it too, more that women are often more likely to experience it and are more of the targeted victims of these crimes. It’s a necessity especially when it is still apparent today. In the U.S., women are threatened to have their reproductive rights taken away after the result of Roe V. Wade was overturned. It’s sickening to have to witness it and feel powerless, especially how that can affect rape victims since that can lead to unwanted pregnancies that they will have to be forced to carry depending on what state they live in, especially as minors. As statistics by the CDC say that more than four in five female rape survivors have reported that they were first taken advantage of before they turned 25, and almost half of them experienced that as a minor. 

Waris Dirie is a human rights activist against female genital mutilation. It’s a horrible practice that has no health benefits and often makes the victim pass due to blood loss or infection. She has established many hospitals that provide reconstructive surgery for women. (Waris Dirie, 2018 during her visit to Sierra Leone|SONHYOIL| WikiMedia)

Feminism constantly has this stigma that it’s not needed or unnecessary as gender discrimination and other issues don’t seem as apparent as it was a decade or even a century ago. Though, that’s not the case. There is still work to be done to improve the lives of women. This work can be done by recent generations and ones to come. The power activism can do to change even the smallest communities is enough to create a big change. Our generation knows the power of what social media can do as we recognize the collective power we hold. 

I’m grateful for feminism as it’s brought the thriving culture of women and the traditions that we do,” Sophomore Marbella Nieves-Hernandez said. “It brought respect to us and broke many stereotypes engraved in society, it’s important in all these aspects and more as without it, we wouldn’t have all these opportunities.”