Many assert that in a society with growing accommodations and opportunities for minorities and marginalized groups feminism is no longer necessary. However, just because some progress has been made as far as suffrage and serving in the military go, women are still shamed for asserting sexual autonomy, objectified in the streets for the clothing they choose, and paid seventy five cents to every dollar a man makes for doing the same job. Young girls who are already confused enough as they come of age are sneered at for being “prudes” if they are not ready for sexual activity or whispered about for being “sluts” if they are.
Girls are shamed for being proud of their bodies and showing them off and are simultaneously told by the mass media and their peers that they must fit a certain set of standards if they are to be considered sufficient by their peers and prospective partners.
Serious eating disorders and substance use are on the rise in young women who feel like they will never measure up.
Feminism is necessary because it’s not okay for a girl to love herself without being considered “arrogant” or a “bitch.” Feminism is necessary because women are shot down and invalidated at every turn when they try to stand up for themselves or recount their experiences with trauma and abuse. Many are too ashamed to report cases of rape because they feel as if they won’t be taken seriously, that they should be glad a man found them attractive enough to lust after them.
Some feel as though in this day and age, all the progress that is possible has already been made. At one point in history women weren’t able to vote, hold jobs, or own property. Now many are powerful executives in companies, hold office and have involvement in the government, and advocate for themselves and others in court.
Many men, particularly conservatives, assert that reverse-sexism is becoming a prevalent problem, despite the fact that the hurt feelings this supposed phenomenon results in cannot compare to thousands of years of institutionalized oppression of women’s freedom to live independently and in the fashion that they choose. Many incredible women throughout history and today have their talents dismissed, their motives questioned, and their emotions written off as part of their menstrual periods or simply the allegedly flight nature of their gender. Those who are not assigned the female gender but indentify as such face as even harder road, and need feminism more than most.
However, everyone can benefit from feminism, including, and sometimes especially, those who identify as male. It can improve the relationships and understanding across genders and build a stronger, more tolerant society as a whole. Collaboration and acceptance of all genders is crucial to the betterment of our world and to having the most highly qualified people offering leadership to others. Feminism is required on a global level because so many members of humanity are not being heard.