It is easy as a society to assert that the need for feminism and the activism involved are no longer relevant because women have already overcome so much.
Part of that is true. Women have moved past the discrimination that kept them from voting. They have moved into the workplace and held their ground among men as well as received the same education.
These battles may have been won, but so much more can be done and many more milestones accomplished toward furthering gender equality.
This should not be a movement surrounded by negative stigma and cruel jokes labeling women who are fighting for representation as “Feminazis.”
The movement today is far removed from the end of the 19th century when women were fighting for suffrage. It’s even different from the radical bra-burning, man-hating marches in the ’60s.
It is more about the final push for equality, closing the wage gap where women make 75 percent of the annual earnings that men do, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. It’s more about ending the violence, both sexual and otherwise. It’s more about recognizing the importance of being on the same playing field for all people, not about hating or belittling men. It is about intersectionality with other movements that benefit men and women.
The United States as a whole has come far in the realm of women’s rights, and we could act as a model for other countries that don’t have the same luxuries. One of the only ways to do that, however, is promote the movement instead of bash it.
The feminist movement as a whole has taken one societal norm after the other and made people question their validity.
This can be seen in the body positivity movement that promotes beauty in all shapes and sizes. It can be seen in the fight to end sexual and domestic violence. It can also be seen in the way the strict definition of masculinity has been questioned, and the movement toward normalizing the emotions of men.
The revolution is not over just because women are in universities, working as CEOs for major companies and involved in international politics. Many of the fights from the ’60s haven’t been entirely won and will take more strides to get that way.
So with March being Women’s History Month, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the women and men fighting for the equality of each gender and race and applaud them for how far they have come. It’s a good time to acknowledge the leaps that have been made and work to further the strides even more.