Fighting Like a Girl

Written By Basya Klein

Feminism is not an ugly word and it should not be treated as such. It doesn’t carry hate and will not sting you if you get too close. For years women have been trying to gain equality and we have been, bit by bit, coming closer but our work is not even close to done. Even along the way, women interactions with inequities are easily visible. Women are taught to tear each other down, that we are competitors and if other women succeed they are stealing success from underneath our fingertips. But the world is wide and has enough room for an abundance of success. We are taught to be softer and more delicate and, God forbid, we talk about sex or use a word like “fuck” because only boys can talk about our bodies like that. How dare we take ownership of what is and has always been ours. As if we are not worth anything but the bodies we inhabit.We are taught to care about how we look and then told it makes us shallow, we are made fun of for the stereotypes we have been force-fed since preschool, taught to adhere to like construction paper cutouts. Feminism means equality and feminism means not giving up. It means supporting other women instead of tearing them down for no reason. Feminism is not man-hating, or saying that women should be above; we are all human beings and we all deserve a level playing field. The world is full of injustice and feminism is one means of attempting to lessen this injustice against all women. Being a feminist does not mean you have to not shave, not wear makeup, not date boys. Being a feminist is not an elusive title, it just means believing in equality. Intersectionality is an important part of feminism. Especially today.Many of the people labeled as “white feminists” are called that because they fight for white women's rights while continuing to support or ignore the oppression of people of color. There are many factors that cause discrimination and injustice and they are interconnected in such a way that makes them inseparable- each person has a complicated combination of advantages and disadvantages that form their experience in the world, and it is the responsibility of those with public platforms (celebrities and politicians, mostly) to speak up for ALL oppressed people. Even the suffragettes were fighting for the rights of white women only, and yet they are still hailed as a prime example of women’s rights activism.I can also say for certain that queer women have more hurdles to overcome than straight women; I have had more people in the last few years talk down to me and disrespect me than I ever did when everybody thought I was straight. For some reason people tend to think that because I am queer my opinion is tainted somehow- I obviously just hate men anyway so why should my views on women’s rights have any sort of validity? Queer women are also constantly fetishized by the media- seen just as sex objects for the enjoyment of men. But the second women start to enjoy sex or are proud of their sexuality they are labeled as sluts, and shamed for it. Feminism is thinking that women can enjoy sex just as much as men and it doesn’t make them anything but human- after all, sex is supposed to be enjoyable. The most important thing about feminism today is that it is NECESSARY. We do not live in a post-misogyny world and if we pretend to things will only get worse. We need feminism because women are still referred to based on their husbands because men think they own our bodies and can tell us what to do with them and when. We need feminism because the scales are tipped against us and living complacently will only tip them further. The only way to gain equality is to FIGHT BACK. Feminism is how we do that.

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