I am very proud that I am a feminist and will bring up this role in any conversation...not that I could really hide it stuff about gender just seems to spew out of me. I am sure that there still needs to be feminists and that the struggle is not over, but I have learned other people are not so sure. For one, many people find the term feminism confusing...but that is a different blog post. I want to talk about this idea that we don't need feminists anymore. I am sure I'm not they only one who has been told this and every time I do I feel the inner debater break through. I normally spew off the same reasons: the pay gap and glass ceiling, over sexualization of women, how some insurance companies will pay for Viagra and not birth control...the normal stuff. Sometimes I might include my own life experiences, how on my date this weekend the guy I was with just assumed that he would cover the dinner bill. Even after I offered, and then debated with him that I should pay for myself. While free dinner is not harmful to me, it is ideas behind it.
There is still real problems with gender equality in our county, other than men buying me dinner. I was doing an interview today for my research project, I asked my interviewee if they thought that there was still sexism even though women can be economic equals to men. She told me a story about a wedding she recently attended where the vows included that the husband would be the head of the household, the wife was to be loyal and obey to her husband...and all that jazz. How can we not need feminists and feminism if in this country, and in this state, women are still being married off as inferior? There are more, of what I would consider, horror stories of women still being expected to be subservient to men, and it is not just that they are expected to bake cookies. Women still are not seen as equal.
There are plenty of revolts against women's rights and equality, which in a way is a good sign, we've won enough that people are getting upset, but that means we need to keep fighting. What is gained can easily be lost again. If we don't watch out and just stop being a feminist and stop caring about sexism, we could be back to a society where it is more than ok to beat your wife, but expected. Where women's value is only in the children she has.
I would love to hear other's stories about why we still need feminism...or maybe why I'm wrong and we don't.