It’s Time We Talked About It – Feminism Still Matters Because….

I'm trying, Gloria, I am...

I’m trying, Gloria, I am…

This has underscored my other posts, a quiet theme that finally gets to have it’s own space.  Blame it on a few factors: first, a male friend asked me to take a look at the subject. Second, last night, Reese Witherspoon and Patricia Arquette pushed the subject right under the noses of the viewing public.

So, a little homework first.  Check out the links below, and I’ll be waiting after the cut for you.

This is what we’re talking about and this is where it’s being felt the most.

Then, read this and think about what you say matters and how you vote, America.

Welcome back. Gender inequality is still a thing in the United States. Which is mind boggling for a country that was founded on principles of equality under God, huh? When we talk about the Equal Rights Amendment and Feminism, I know the first image that comes to mind is something out a 1970’s news report. Being raised by a single mother in the early 1970’s maybe made me more acutely aware of the issue as a child, no doubt. But, I admit to losing sight of there still being an issue.  I believed that it was a done deal – that women had gained equality across the board and that was that. Slowly but surely, I could see that I wasn’t wrong to think that, but it wasn’t exactly correct to believe, either.  It’s seemed like feminism and gender equality had been relegated to college campuses and has been the province of young women that need a cause. The overtones that helped spur the sexual revolution have grown into a parallel movement. I’ve written about “the shirt” (yes, I’m linking it here…this time, it’s relevant)  and it’s not that I object to what it represents (claiming sexual autonomy, feminine empowerment, etc.) I’m all for that, I’m not comfortable wearing a shirt quite so graphic, but I can get behind what it means. But, Feminism is more than that, or at least it should be.

The idea of feminism is that women are powerful and have a right to claim it. We are powerful and have a right to be equal to men in all fields. We’re not, though. Look at the link above about our elected officials.  Not many ladies, are there? There are have been four female directors nominated for Oscars, only two of those were Americans, by the way. Name four horror writers that are women (points if you know the name of the female author that created one of the most iconic monsters of all time.) Name four women that have changed how we do business, think about the world, or explore the future. Now, figure what the male leaders in all of these fields net annually in their piggy banks and take away the 22% difference (source) and that’s what their equally qualified female counterparts brought home. There is nothing equal about that.

Now take into consideration that women are expected to perform at their chosen fields with equal excellence, shrug off things like childbirth and responsibilities at home (extremely difficult for single mothers)to compete professionally. But we aren’t compensated equally.  Feminism is about fairness. It’s about leveling the playing field only as far as the rewards go. In the name of fairness, think about legislation concerning medical treatments and the ways insurance is allowed to cover them. Look at the link concerning our elected officials again. There are ethical and morality issues that surround birth control. There are ethical and morality issues that surround abortion, too. I’m not here to discuss those. I bring them up because the laws that control these medications and procedures are written by men, voted on and passed by men. The politics of those men doesn’t factor into the argument. The dominating fact is that women allow these decisions to be made by men at all. We vote for them, we pay them and we don’t stand up for ourselves when it counts. We give our power away. Feminism is about taking that power back, making sure that we protect those that can’t for themselves. The decisions to use these procedures and medications should be ours to reconcile between us and our God, whatever we call Her/Him.

We're all Wonder Woman

We’re all Wonder Woman

Which means that feminism, in and of itself, is not just a women’s issue. It’s a men’s issue as well.  Until the inequality is put into balance, things just are wrong. Things like Fifty Shades of Grey happen, where women publicly embrace the worst soft porn ever, but decry actual porn as demeaning and wrong. It’s because we are aware of the scales shifted against us and we’re scrambling to fill our side with the things that might make it fair again. We claim promiscuity, saying it’s taking sexual power, but it’s not. It’s destroying our credibility – it’s making us into the worst version of the men we say have power over us in the first place. Feminism matters, because WE matter. Inequality matters.  Imbalance matters. Prejudice and discrimination matter. This isn’t a limited to race – it’s spread across 50% of the world’s population, fuels persecution and abuse. Sexual and gender specific discrimination causes financial hardships, pay inequality creates a glass ceiling that can only be shattered by remembering it’s still there.

As long as all of that exists, feminism still matters

The conversation continues: The Impact of Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey on Relationships

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15 thoughts on “It’s Time We Talked About It – Feminism Still Matters Because….

  1. AMEN!, SISTER. Loved it’s clarity. Well done, especially that part about men closing Planned Parenthood clinics, say in Texas and Wisconsin. (Oh, it’s there. I found it, you clever one.) At times I am ashamed at being male/a man. . . .

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    • I wasn’t talking about them specifically, James. LOL..but I’ll take credit for being clever. 😉 I was thinking of the ongoing debates about abortion, contraception being covered by health insurance, family medical leave legislation being written by men (who don’t have to give birth, aren’t usually expected to care for critically ill children or elderly parents and so on)

      Don’t be ashamed of being a man, either. Men are in a position to get things done – and if you’re aware of the inequalities that plague our society, you are on the front line of helping fix it.

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  2. Thank you for writing this! Feminism is so important, and continues to matter in this society. We are not done. Women still suffer inequality in this country, and we cannot continue to let it happen. We need to stand up and fight for equality.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. Some women think that since things seem equal, they must be equal. But there are still problems with how society views women, and we still need to fix those problems. Feminism can’t just disappear, because we still need it. We will always need feminism.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Feminism is really about about everyone. It’s inclusive, because we get that equality isn’t just for one gender, or one race. There’s a perception at play here too – women are afraid to be feminists – as if standing up for themselves means they’re militant, masculine and gasp! aggressive. That’s a big part of the problem. Being equal doesn’t mean we’re the SAME..but for some that’s a difficult concept to grasp.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So true. Feminism is the idea that everyone should be equal, regardless of religion, sexuality, gender, race, or economic status. That’s the beauty of it.

        I think it’s sad that some people are afraid to identify with feminism. Some misunderstand it and think that feminism means that women hate men or that men should have less rights, when that is not the case. It seems like lately there have been positive discussions in the media to shed some light on what feminism truly is.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s been something to see celebrities championing the cause instead of simpering and talking about the gowns they’re wearing. The media really has to start paying attention – this has been the slowest, most polite push for equal rights EVER!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. An excellent and timely post, Denise! Women are still grossly underpaid compared to our male counterparts. Myself, as a woman who raised my kids alone with no help after my divorce, just kept my head down and kept working, went on for my master’s once the kids got into high school and college. My daughters have frequently told me that my independence inspires them. Sometimes it comes down to how we feel about ourselves. I was involved with Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In Circles at work before I retired. Here is a post I wrote a while back. https://terriwebsterschrandt.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/the-inequality-of-leaning-out/

    Even with feminism and the continuing fight for equality, women still can be our own worst enemies.

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    • Terri – we are our own worst enemies, there’s no denying it. We vote men in to office and wonder why issues that matter are ignored. It’s a tricky issue in so many ways. People don’t know how to act – acknowledging equality should never mean that traditional manners are set aside, for example. I remember being a little girl during the “I am woman, hear me roar” period, and it was all about how women could open their own doors, etc., when that wasn’t ever really the point. It was about being paid equally, being treated equally under the law and being given equal opportunities. Women aren’t going to play first base for the New York Yankees or defensive end for the New England Patriots any time soon, but if they did, they should be paid equally, based on their skill and talent, as a man should be. Apples to apples – female television personalities are generally paid less than their male co-stars. Why?
      My mother was and continues to be an inspiration to me, too. She worked from being a high school dropout to having her nursing degree, raised my sister and I on her own for quite a long time and only stopped working full time (with breaks to raise my younger sister) when my stepfather was critically ill a few years ago. We girls are pretty independent adults now, and it’s not a stretch to figure out where we go it from.

      Thanks so much for reading this – I’m really happy you enjoyed it and that it resonated with you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I enjoy your blog too! And thank you very much for the reblog!! Do you think these ideals will every change in our lifetime? I hope so.
        On a happy note, my 30-yr old daughter just got a 7% merit raise (she is an aerospace engineer with Lockheed Martin in San Francisco Bay area’s Silicon Valley). She actually gets paid more than many of her male counterparts. Huzzah! And your mother sounds amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Congratulations to your daughter and to you, Proud Mom! I think there have already been steps taken to change things, but they stalled out. There’s a reawakening going on though, and this time, with more women moving into positions where they can facilitate change in the right direction, it will happen.
        My mother is the best!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Good post, I agree with some points and vehemently disagree with other points, however overall well written. You should think about doing a post on sexism on tv aimed at young girl it’s beginning to get rampant and is showing up in the school systems… just a suggestion. :o)
    I like your writing, it comes from the heart and that’s important.

    Like

    • Bishop Morty, I think, since you know and have seen that in action, you should write about it. The point of what I write is to get people to think – so if your inclination is to vehemently disagree, that’s good.

      Like

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