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THH: Why I Am A Feminist
I am a feminist because I never thought feminism needed to exist.
We live in the 21st century. Women-led films, women-directed films, and women-produced films flood the big screen regularly. The day approaches when the 19th amendment, the infamous American legalization of women’s suffrage, will reach its 100th anniversary. You look around right and left, and you have your she-runners, she-writers, she-engineers, she-musicians, she-role-models! Rumors fly that Hillary Clinton might be dubbed presidential candidate and possibly grab a run as the first woman president of the United States, right after Barack Obama’s administration made him the first African-American president. Household names like Malala Yousafzai, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, and J.K. Rowling continue to break headlines regularly. We’re breaking the glass ceiling.
But some things aren’t moving fast enough.
For a world that allows media to be its ever changing face, objectification of the female form persists to make constant appearance. Women are abused, mistreated, and downtrodden in the close environment as much as they are on the world stage. Third world countries boast of countless bright and eager young women who might only ever get to dream about attaining a secondary education. The boy continues to save the girl. And textbooks still list women as a minority in history, despite that every race, every religion, every class, and every level of sexual orientation has women.
I’m not talking about appeasing an outnumbered few, much less pushing aside the other half.
I’m talking about your neighbors, your teacher, your favorite author. Your mother, sister, aunt. Your girlfriend or your grandmother. And your own future daughter, granddaughter.
How are we going to break it to them that a little birth defect shook their entire lives upside down, only that it was one that would essentially predestine every aspect of their future? You know the science; XY or XX, flip a coin. Flip fate. Oh well. You’ll just have to deal with it now.
Now? Yes, let’s deal with this now.
I also decided I didn’t believe in simply taking apart the past. We can’t forget those who have given enormous efforts to bring future generations greater tomorrows than they themselves could ever have. These are the people who have spoken out when silence was expectant, and have brought us here together now. Yet it comes to a point when the past ends, the present begins, and the future awaits.
I am a feminist because gender equality—the beautiful, and inevitable core of feminism—affects everyone.
I am a feminist for the men and women of today, all of who I believe should be empowered by their gender and not hindered by it, in achieving their wildest and most impossible dreams.
I am a feminist for those who struggle daily, when gender is still denounced as a bookend label, and not an elaborate spectrum.
I am feminist for those of tomorrow, who will come into the world with an open mind and open hopes. These are whom I hope dearly will be able to see tolerance and inclusive innovation with their own eyes. Excited, they will pass it on, and on, inspiring others more to build up a world of thriving people and passions.
I am a feminist. And I hope you’ll join me.