Feminism- once a well respected advocacy of women’s rights being equal to those of men. The first wave of feminism was handled gracefully. It focused on legal issues, mainly on gaining women’s suffrage, and promoted general women’s rights throughout the nation. Women fought for equality in a way that was respected by fellow women, as well as men, making their movement powerful and able to resonate in the minds of those who believe otherwise. Through their commitment, they won because they fought with dignity, strength, perseverance, and class.1

The second wave feminism was more focused on civil rights. Women formed female-only organizations (such as NOW). NOW is the National Organization for Women and have been working towards the equality between men and women since 1966. These women fought for things such as abortions, birth control, equality, and gender roles. Women in this era strived for more equality in the workplace, working up to the highest positions among their fellow male co-workers. The feminists fighting in this era got what they needed to get done without making a mockery of the advocacy.2

The third wave feminism consists of body, gender, and sexuality advocacy. The Internet played a part in this way of feminism, giving young feminists a way of spreading ideas. This wave started in the 1990’s and women were resisting what they called, patriarchal authority.3

The current wave of feminism, the fourth wave, deals with problems such as sexual abuse, rape, violence against women, unequal pay (PSA: Equal Rights Amendment), slut-shaming, and breaking the stereotypical body-types. Lately, feminism has put a major focus on transgender rights as well.This wave of feminism was gotten out of hand because they victimize, blame the patriarchy for problems where they are not to blame, and the way these feminists present themselves is incredibly negative and down right embarrassing to women as a whole.4

Women during the first and second waves of feminism fought strongly for our rights as females, but now the term “feminism” has a horrible connotation in association. Why? It’s because nowadays, rallies are not held with respect. The third and fourth wave feminists shame anyone who disagrees with them. The treatment I personally have received regarding feminism has been negative. This is from women who claim to promote and pride other women. Simply because I am a registered Republican woman, I am deemed less worthy than a Democratic woman in the feminist point of view. This is absolutely ridiculous and the poor treatment of conservative women has to stop now. When asked if I am a feminist, I have to sit back and really think about it. Think if I want to say I am apart of this recent wave where there is shaming conservatives and blaming men for anything wrong. Typically, I say no. I start to discuss the “feminist” issues I agree with and I make my case, without belonging to a group I do not feel comfortable conforming to. Carly Fiorina is the best example of what a fearless, strong, conservative woman can do for herself without playing the gender card, like Hillary Clinton tends to do. A feminist should empower all women, striving to make sure each one of them knows how capable of success they are and that they do not have obstacles put in front of them by men. She should promote equality, disregarding the saying that women are a “special interest group,” which the liberal political agenda pushes like no other. We have equality and we deserve to be looked at in an equal manner to that of a feminist. Not being a feminist isn’t something that should be looked down upon. I went to an all girl’s boarding school, one that was flooded with extreme feminists who chastised those of us who did not feel the same. Just because I do not label myself as a feminist, a word that received such negative associations after fourth wave feminism began, does not mean I myself do not advocate for those like me. I advocate for women in a way that is not provocative nor dismissing of others, particularly non-feminists. Women should be for women regardless to their personal beliefs, and just because I do not strictly label myself as a feminist does not mean that I wish for women to be treated any lesser than a male. However, feminism has been so flawed in the past few years, including an immense amount of slut shaming as well as other shameful tactics intended to belittle those who are against them. This is wrong and should be changed, but until them, I will not label myself as a feminist in any regards.

Holly M


Holly is a Special Education & Elementary Education double major. She spends the majority of her time being a dog mom and trainer to her service dog Delilah. She prides herself on watching The Office a total of 21 times so far.

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