Why is modern feminism necessary? | Teen Ink

Why is modern feminism necessary?

March 7, 2023
By kayvedette BRONZE, Timnath, Colorado
kayvedette BRONZE, Timnath, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

 Why is modern feminism necessary? It’s needed because women are safe in few ways in their life. They are hardly physically safe, trying to avoid being alone in social situations, carrying weapons, and saving fake phone call videos to their phones. Their reputation is unsafe, not being taken seriously and worried about not being seen as attractive because they are being assertive. Being forced to follow standards, that aren't just about beauty. They aren't financially safe, being paid less than men and being shamed for not having kids even at their poorest. 

                                  Attacking and traveling solo

Traveling solo is quite the controversial topic to start off on. Women traveling solo or even sometimes with other women is unsafe in most countries. There shouldn't be a need to plan a trip down to every detail of which road they are traveling on, or taking notes on safety videos to make sure they don't get in an unsafe situation in a foreign country. In my opinion, women should be able to have the same freedom as men when travelling solo without obsessive planning.

1 in 6 women will be a victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, over 30 percent of it happening during travelling. It is mainly advised for women to avoid going to clubs and places they have drinks because it is so common to get drugged, especially while travelling. It’s super upsetting to hear, isn’t it? The chances of women get raped is more than twice the statistics of men getting raped in their lifetime. 97 percent of women and children (female) have been sexually assaulted - almost a third of the assaults happening during travels.

We (women) live in a world in which we have to constantly look over our shoulders in fear of being attacked. There are whole social media accounts where people just give safety tips for women. We have to learn what drugs taste like and how pepper spray works to avoid being kidnapped or raped. Traveling alone is one of the most unsafe things women can do, because loads of women experience abuse and harassment abroad.

                                            Elites and reputations

If you think society can’t get even more depressing, the reputation of third wave feminism is horrid as well. Often times, people are afraid to call themselves feminists anymore because if they do, the majority of people ignore them, refusing to take them seriously. Some people nowadays assume everyone who identifies as a feminist is an elite feminist, and shame them for it.

An elite is a feminist taken to a new level. Elites are the type of people you see sometimes that will hate all men for being men and believe women are better or “elite” which is where their nicknames come from. This is problematic because the point of feminism is equal rights. Trying to have more than equal rights can turn the whole train backwards and ruin feminism in some ways. In my opinion, elites should not even be considered feminists. They will only escalate the issue. Companies make shirts for kids that say “girls rule the world” or “girls rule, guys drool”. For perspective, those are elite sayings. Although an elementary schooler wearing these is no problem whatsoever, but if they grow up believing these quotes they could become an elite. 

                              Objectifying, rape, and dress codes

                                           (trauma warning)

A disturbing fact that I have never seen an elitist acknowledge is that there is a sensor in your brain that can tell when something is living or not. So if a girl walked past another girl, the sensor would turn on and she would see that the girl is a human being who is alive - same for if that girl saw an animal. If that same girl saw an object such as a book lying around, the sensor would turn off and the girl would realize subconsciously that the book is not living with feelings. The book is an object. If a man walks past a woman, that sensor would turn on. Something would click, telling the man: hey, she’s living with feelings. But imagine that same guy walks past a woman dressed even a small bit provocatively, (maybe wearing a cropped shirt and ripped jeans) the sensor stops working. He unconsciously sees the woman as an object now. This is called objectifying. 

Objectifying is when somebody sees another person as an object. They see someone like they can use them (often sexually) with no consequences instead of developing friendly or romantic feelings. This commonly leads to assault and rape.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Some people have experienced problems where they try to talk to other people about their assault and the person they talk to says “What were you wearing?”. Did you know that 53 percent of schools have gendered dress codes? If you don’t know what that is, it’s where the schools only enforce dress codes on females, or have way less strict ones for males. According to various sources, men wearing tank tops are attractive, But girls wearing the same thing makes them immature distracting for boys. People tend to assume that girls need to cover up, but if parents  taught guys at an early age that looking at someone like that is wrong, there would be no need for this paragraph. Some parents are too scared to educate their children about this, not sure how they’ll react. The problem here is they aren't putting their priorities in order. Avoiding awkwardness is less important than avoiding assault.

                                           Changing personalities

At the start of this article, it was mentioned that women aren't seen as people who can be bossy or assertive, because apparently society thinks telling people what you need is “not attractive”. I've known multiple people who have parents telling them to act shy because guys like it. Yeah. It doesn't matter if you want to be shy or not or if you are shy, but the problem is that lots of girls change their personalities to match standards society sets. 

Speaking of personality, someone has probably told you how girls' brains mature faster than boys’. This is somewhat a myth. Girls tend to be punished much more harshly than boys when exhibiting the behavior all children show at times. For example, some young girls get unfair punishments for throwing a temper tantrum when young, such as being hit, which makes no sense, considering temper tantrums are normal at that age and sometimes even connected to neurological disorders such as autism. Sometimes girls a bit older will even be punished for having a mood swing, which is a normal psychological occurrence. 

                                         Period shaming

Half of women in the United States have experienced period shaming, one in five of the shaming experiences coming from a male friend. Period shaming is when women are to feel embarrassed about a period, which is just something that means your body is healthy and fertile. In a study in 2017, over 70 percent of people think that period blood is dirty. That is not exactly true. It isn't even completely blood, for gods' sake! Some religions even believe that women are sinful or impure while menstruating, yet it is seen as attractive to be fertile or childbearing. Some churches or temples do not allow women to pray while on their periods.

                                           Gender pay gap

The last thing I would like to point out is that women are paid 75 cents for every dollar a man makes. Some workplaces don’t pay maternity leave either. In recent studies, a woman is paid eighty percent of what a man is paid. Or less. Around 30 percent of workplaces have admitted to promoting men faster than women. Personally, my parents work in a teaching setting, and since woman teachers tend to be more common in elementary school, when a man tries for a teaching job, he nearly always gets hired. 

In all, modern feminism is necessary because society is still at its point of sexism, though less visible than before women could vote.  With all society's toxic glory, the constant trauma, assault, and overall underlying sexism needs a change quickly. 

“If feminism wasn't powerful, if feminism wasn't influential, people wouldn't spend so much time putting it down.” 

                                               -Jessica Valenti

The author's comments:

I'm Lucy (or you can call me Arlie) - in the 7th grade and I wrote this during a time of literal feminine rage. I'm sure other people feel somewhat stuck in their position of never being free from learning self - defense moves, being dress coded (for showing my freaking shoulder blades??), and being sexualized. I wrote this hoping other people could find comfort in someone else thinking the same thing as them and help people who don't go through these issues understand. Have an amazing day and remember to stand up for yourself! :)

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