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Apr 07 2016
by Katherine Kokeas

The Things I Wish People Understood About Feminism

By Katherine Kokeas - Apr 07 2016
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The following is a letter to those asking what feminism really is.

Dear everyone,

          For any of you who are automatically jumping on the bandwagon of being scared of this social movement, I would like to clarify exactly what feminism is. Feminism is, by definition, “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes”. Is that really so scary? Does the idea that a woman may have the freedom to be treated like a human being scare you? How about the fear a woman experiences walking down the street. Because I can assure you, the two do not compare. Being scared that a human being should be treated like one pales in comparison to the fear a woman experiences on a daily basis. It is the year 2016. We should be putting our energy into scientific discoveries, disease treatment, and solving hunger, and instead we are spending our time debating the equality of an entire gender of human beings.

Dear Men,

          As stated by Emma Watson in her speech to the United Nations, “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.” Men, gender equality is your issue as well. It will affect your mothers, your sisters, and your daughters. If you are aware that you are living in a world in which an entire gender is deemed less of a person, how can you feel that that is not your responsibility as well?    

Dear Women,

          Women, stick up for each other. There are enough voices tearing you down in the world. Be brave and be there for your fellow girls. Set the precedent that feminism should be less of a radical social movement, and rather an aspect of common sense. Do not feel that just because your opportunities have not been compromised, that all women have these opportunities. 

Dear Future Generations,

     Feminism is not limited to women. Feminism allows for the breaking down of barriers. Instead of altering gender roles, it destroys them all together. It is the idea that anyone can accomplish anything, despite his or her gender. A girl should be proud to be herself. And a boy should be able to do the same. No one should ever feel ashamed for liking anything, just because someone somewhere thinks it isn’t right for your gender. So please, cause a scene, speak up for gender equality, and speak your mind. Because if this is not your issue, then whose is it? If not now, then when? Stop being afraid of change, because fear should not be what inhibits an entire gender of people from accessing basic human rights.

          So go be you. Throw like a girl. Run like a girl. Be a girl. Because none of these should carry negative connotations.


           

Lead image credit: http://rlv.zcache.de/der_feminismus_ist_fur_jeder_poster-r9928cc55a1b0497ab1c46951475439fa_bef_8byvr_324.jpg

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Katherine Kokeas - Syracuse University

Communications Freshman at Syracuse University.

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