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Lately, there have been a lot of controversial articles regarding feminism. An article recently published in The Odyssey entitled “I Am Not A Feminist, And That Is Okay” was written by a young woman, Amanda Jayne Sankey, in early March of 2016. She received a lot of negative backlash for this article. Many readers claimed that her article was, in fact, from a feminist point of view. Aside from comments directly on her piece, there were several other articles written condemning her original post. Amanda stated her opinion and was ridiculed and belittled for doing so. In today’s society, the Left screams tolerance, until something comes along that does not follow its agenda. I, along with Amanda, would not call myself a feminist by today’s standards and here is why.
When it comes down to it, yes, I may have traditional feminist views on women’s rights. As women, we should be allowed the right to vote, equal pay, and equal treatment in and outside of the workplace. This alone does not make me a feminist by today’s standards. Thanks to the first and second wave of feminism, we have the all of the rights I stated previously. With that being said, I find it odd that some women in our society and country today cry out “oppression,” while there are women in other countries who are subjected to true oppression, with no gender equality whatsoever. These women aren’t allowed to vote, they don’t have access to education, and they are discriminated against because of their gender. This is oppression and this is what feminism was created to fight against.
Today, many self-proclaimed feminists fight for their right to free bleed, grow out their armpit hair, and free the nipple. First, frankly speaking, this is a hygiene problem and second, it’s not what feminism was created to fight for. The first wave of feminists that fought for women’s rights and equality would be embarrassed to share this title. Many feminists today advocate for a right to menstrual leave, while feminists in the 1960’s advocated for equal pay. Some feminists today advocate for a right to 3rd trimester abortions, while Feminists For Life advocated against abortion in the 1900’s. These examples alone should illustrate how far feminism has strayed from its original meaning. The original feminist movement fought for rights for all lives, no matter the age, race, and religion.
Aside from these issues, I have a hard time believing that some women who call themselves feminists today are truly pro-women. I have witnessed women being torn down and belittled by “feminists” for their differing opinions, including Amanda Jane Sankey for her aforementioned article. This is not pro-women. You cannot call yourself a true feminist if you get to decide which women you build up and which women you tear down. Yes, we all have differing opinions and we may never agree in totality with one another, but this does not mean that we should use demeaning rhetoric or tear demean women that don’t agree with us. There are more productive, respectful ways to disagree with an individual than ripping apart their beliefs and viewpoints. This behavior defeats the purpose of feminism as a whole.
We, as women in the United States, are not victims. We shouldn’t fall into a trap of feeling as though we are victims because of our gender. We are strong, intelligent, independent, and have the power to make a difference in the world. We should use the true values of feminism to empower women who truly need it, such as women in the Middle East.
This article was not made in any way to take away from the amazing accomplishments of the initial, first and second waves of feminist movements. It is also not to say that all feminists today act this way. The purpose of this article is simply to open some eyes to the fact that feminism has drifted from the core values it once had. Whether you agree or disagree, I hope that all who read this article take a moment to think about how far women in the United States have come from the oppression we once faced and think about how we can help women of other countries do the same.
*The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the FFL organization.*