Hello everyone. Today is International Women’s Day, a day which celebrates triumphs of women and which seeks to continue improving lives of women across the globe. A phenomenon which is part of this celebratory day is called A Day Without Women. This phenomenon suggests women wear red in solidarity, not spend money on big businesses and to stay at home whether paid or unpaid, because women do many jobs that are unpaid (e.g., being mothers). There has been lots of backlash towards this holiday and the Day Without Women phenomenon, because many people think that Feminism is pointless.
Pardon the language in the above image, but I wanted to post this to display one reason why Feminism is still important. Many times when women try to express their feelings and gain validation of their feelings, they’re given comments such as the ones above. Women are often criticized for crying, getting angry or expressing opinions that are not popular, and are put down when they want to express themselves. If a man expresses himself with passionate feelings he’s respected, but if a woman expresses herself with passionate feelings she’s often accused of being on her period.
I live in the United States and many people say that women are equal citizens so Feminism isn’t neccesary. There are many things wrong with that statement. Affinity Magazine posted an article last month about Feminism. Although the United States is one of the best places to live if you’re a female, there are many issues going on that many people don’t seem to care about. Listed below are some summaries of this article.
President Donald Trump openly made comments that were degrading towards women and those were dismissed by many people. “Like a girl” is an expression still used to imply weakness (e.g., throwing a baseball “like a girl”). Brock Turner, a young man who raped an unconscious woman, served 3 months out of his 6 month jail sentence just because he’s privileged. Female hygiene (e.g., douching) is seen as disgusting, women are expected to be fully shaven and jokes are made about natural bodily processes such as queefing. Women are made to feel ashamed about their periods even though they’re natural, involuntary and the pain that comes from periods help women to deliver children. Tampons and other feminine products were taxed 5% until 2016, and this says that basic women products should be taxed but condoms shouldn’t. Abortion is still debated and in countries like Ireland is still wholly illegal.
“Keep Ya Head Up,” by 2Pac has some interesting lyrics. 2Pac wasn’t wholly what I’d call a feminist: he said “I love women, but I hate bitches even more. They make it bad for real women. They make it so when I meet a real woman she’s scared of me because this bitch says I raped her. Women don’t like bitches. I’m a man’s man, I attack suckers whoever they are.”
“I give a holla to my sisters on welfare
2Pac cares, if don’t nobody else care
And, I know they like to beat you down a lot
When you come around the block, brothers clown a lot
But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up
Forgive but don’t forget, girl, keep your head up
And when he tells you you ain’t nothin’, don’t believe him
And if he can’t learn to love you, you should leave him
Cause sister, you don’t need him
And I ain’t tryin’ to gas ya up, I just call ’em how I see ’em
You know what makes me unhappy
When brothers make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies
And since a man can’t make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up.”
Mr. Shakur in my opinion is a feminist. I believe that even though songs like “How Do U Want It?” are sexual and seem to demean women, I believe that 2Pac is suggesting that some women give a bad name to all women. A lot of women want respect, want the ability to wear what they like, to make the same as men, and to be able to express themselves.
Elephant Journal tells us about how 1/4 women will be raped in Canada, how women are made to feel ashamed about their bodies by being told to cover up, etc. It also addresses that there are issues faced by men, such as being criticized for expressing their emotions and being raped, but that men who experience either are labeled a sissy or feminine. It is why it is important to fight back against the patriarchy because there are issues that both men and women face today. Regardless if you’re part of a developed nation or a developing nation, there are issues that plague women. Obviously if you live in a Middle Eastern country your issues are different versus if you live in the United States. Being beaten for having sex outside of marriage is different than being criticized for wearing suggestive clothing, but both are issues that women face.
Why we need Feminism is because people like my parents and friends laugh at the idea of an International Women’s Day. My dad laughed and asked if I took the day off. My friend said there should be a Men’s Day and women need to stop complaining. We need Feminism because women are looked down upon when they express feelings and are looked at as weak. “Feelings” aren’t important to many people. We need Feminism because we live in a world where it’s ok for men to look at porn but it’s not ok for women to breast feed. We need Feminism because we live in a world where a woman is often judged by her looks rather than her competency, especially for secretarial jobs.