In a time ripe with political controversy, movements for social change have been dominating our social media feeds and have been on the minds of millions of young activists across the country. As President Trump and his administration take their firm, unrelenting hold of the nation’s highest office, feminists have taken to the streets in fiery protest over our president’s blatant disregard for female anatomy and dignity.
Reproductive rights are being challenged, cases of domestic violence and sexual harassment continue to silently unfold and the issue of equal pay has not died and withered away – despite what certain politicians may claim.
Why, then, is a movement dedicated to the empowerment of women and their entitlement to basic equal rights consistently dismissed as a phase college-aged women inevitably pass through on their journeys into higher education and the professional world?
The feminist movement has not been perceived as a celebration of the female experience, a way of life incapable of being captured and replicated in any other way. The world does not rejoice – it has taken the feminist and shoved him or her alongside the likes of the fascists, the fanatics and the foolish.
The feminist movement is not naïve to the overwhelming criticism fired at young women who have chosen to dedicate their time to the cause. Terms such as “femi-nazi,” “misandrist” and “special snowflake” are just a few examples of the ignorant labels deeply rooted in the perception that a woman, no matter how powerful she may be, is perceived to possess an inherent inability to compete with her male counterparts – that she cannot possibly be capable of holding sophisticated state and local political offices or any other governmental jobs crucial to the security of the nation.
Together, these incredibly harsh stigmata that have become so firmly attached to the feminist serve as a frightening reminder of the state of the woman’s role in our homes, schools and government. They are a triple-underlined, highlighted social example of our failure to accept women as an equally powerful force capable of much more than early-education teaching jobs or being stay-at-home mothers.
It will become ever-more crucial to the feminist movement to continue its fight for equality and representation in order to defeat the vile names that have stuck to activists for generations. The feminist must stay lively, step with resolution and prove to the world that the message has never been one of superiority, but of solidarity.
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