The first time someone slides a woman’s legs apart they may not ask for her permission. They may violate her in ways you cannot imagine. She can scream for help but they will silence her however they can. They may get away with it.

A woman may finally land a job in her field, but her male coworkers may not accept her. They might make degrading comments and sexually harass her throughout the work day. Regardless, they may still receive a better paycheck than her.

Because a woman is wearing a mini skirt and a bow, she might be deemed as weak and docile. Hatred might be directed towards her when she does not live up to these expectations of being easily controllable and not providing the adequate stimulation someone prefers. And she may be regarded and treated as just a collection of body parts, as opposed to a human being.

These are but a few explanations of why feminism continues to exist and thrive amongst women today. Our society has polluted the word feminism with generalizations and false accusations. Regrettably, it has become one of the most unreasonably misunderstood concepts in the English language. Too many individuals, male and female, hear the word ‘feminism,’ and immediately perceive a negative connotation. Feminism is not a trend; it is not the hatred of the male sex and wanting to destroy them. Feminism is not a cry for attention or a continuous battle over which gender is dominant. Feminism is the drastic idea that women should be seen as people. It is challenging the devastating things that are happening each day to women. It is the hope that one day girls will grow up in a world without limitations due to the ignorance of society. Feminism is an optimistic, inspirational, and impartial state of mind that believes women and men are equal beings and should be treated as such.

There are many people in the world that do not believe (or are oblivious to) the imbalance between men and women. Once you open your eyes to the screwed up misfortunes in inequality, you will wish you were as naïve as these folks. Women are beautiful, radiant creatures, and they should be able to shine as they were meant to. Women should not have to alter the way they dress because it’s more convenient for a man’s lack of self control. A short skirt and a few drinks do not offer a free pass for a man to take advantage of a woman. A female should be able to go out in public dressed however she deems appropriate, comfortable, and attractive and not have to listen to perverted men hollering and whistling at her, or judgmental women calling her a slut. If a girl wears a skirt above her knees or a shirt that shows her stomach or cleavage, that does not make her a slut. That makes her confident enough in who she is to dress however makes her feel beautiful and powerful. The same goes for a woman who chooses not to dress in revealing clothing. That does not make her a prude or a lesbian. If a girl decides she does not wish to shave her legs or wear makeup because that is how she feels beautiful and powerful, good for her; that is her prerogative. Too many females feel uncomfortable dressing or acting as they desire because they are worried about pleasing men. Too many girls are not confident about their appearance because society has consistently degraded any female body that is less than perfect. Feminism challenges these dehumanizing views of women and encourages the idea that women are much more than a collection of body parts (“large breasts,” “nice legs,” “big ass,” etc).

The monstrosity that is the glass ceiling (an invisible barrier that keeps women – and other minority groups – from rising past a certain level in the corporate world) is in fact legitimate and unfortunately still existent in our (dare I say pathetic?) society. This glass ceiling is not based on an individual’s performance or inability to handle a job at a higher level. Women executives are, time after time, being concentrated into distinct jobs that offer little to no opportunity to get to the top. The pay gap between women and men is yet another enduring notion in our world that says women are less valuable. According to the US Census Bureau in 2012, men were still paid higher in 19 out of 20 traditionally male jobs, and 19 out of 20 traditionally female jobs. The United States Department of Labor suggests that jobs requiring knowledge are the highest rewarded in the workforce today, yet women with equal educational accomplishments as men in their field are still consistently earning less. There is absolutely no justification to why this should (still) be occurring in society. These issues need to be tackled from every angle until equality is assured for each and every individual.

Feminism is essential to the overall advancement of society. Without activism and change, rape will still be condoned and blamed on women for merely dressing or acting a certain way. Radiant individuals will be overlooked for jobs they are ideal for. Young girls will grow up with misconstrued ideas of beauty and a lack of self-confidence. Mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and friends will be called sluts and bitches for simply dressing and acting how they please. Instead of encouraging girls to play modest and submissive and live up to pre-existing social standards, demand equality. Demand change. Feminism is screaming for the pride and power of women to be treated as people. Don’t be afraid to scream.

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