By Miku Nelinger
Regardless of color, gender, and bias, feminism establishes equality for all.
Fact: Feminism is all about equality of gender; Fiction: It is not about who’s the better gender - a fallacy that greatly confuse a lot of people.
By it’s very definition, feminism is the “advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men” - a movement centered on the liberation of women’s rights.
The feminist movement, an idea/movement that has been around for centuries, mainly put their focus on issues relating to reproductive rights, maternity leave, equal pay, women’s suffrage, along with serious issues regarding domestic violence, sexual harassment/violence, and rape.
However, what was thought to be an empowering movement turned into a debatable topic; in other words, questioning the thought-to-be good narrative.
Survey shows the people’s opinion on feminism today.
There are many stigmas that belittle the importance of feminism, with controversies that overshadow the real issue, following the sexism, need, and the apparent exclusiveness that veil the gendered issue.
In a survey sent out to PBHS students, only 47.1% of those surveyed say they’re feminists while 94.1% believe in gender equality - a percentage gap that loosely translates to how a single word is incorrectly defined in society.
An article published on progressivewomensleadership.com says that today’s variation of feminism is, “received less critically by the female population due to the varying feminist outlooks. There are the ego-cultural feminists, the radicals, the liberal/reforms, the electoral, academic, ecofeminists… the list goes on.”
Raine Hurns, a senior, mock trial member, and feminist adds to the backlash with, “Feminism is so controversial because it's relatively new… it's often misinterpreted as female superiority.”
Mostly defined as ‘misandrist’, this fake definition for feminism is usually the given answer, among other false stigmas.
Sophomore Steven Staab, is a naysayer of modern feminism, so to speak. He adds to the misandrist stigma with, “the idea of it is good but modern-day feminists aren't fighting for it and giving it a bad name.”
Hurns, as a feminist addresses the very need for feminism: “We have made some progress, but there's still much to be done. The wage gap is extremely prevalent; we still debate over abortion. Women are shamed for having sex and their periods; 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted during their time at a university, and we just elected someone who prides themselves on grabbing women without consent.”
Feminism is shown to be slipping away of its importance both socially and politically. But, as Huffington Post suggests, “Being a feminist has nothing to do with how you look, what you wear, who you date, or how often you have sex. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you think women deserve special rights; it means you know we deserve equal ones.”
The truth is, feminism is relevant because the importance of it is extreme. One survey respondent said, “I don't think we should dwell on the past, but we should work on making everyone feel equal as humans.”
Staab even added, “Anyone can want equality,” however asks the misunderstood, “if it's really equality… then work on equality for more than just women” - which, by all means, mean adhering to equality for all.
It doesn’t matter whether one is a guy, gal, or nonbinary pal; a step into a more inclusive and advanced society includes how society treats its own people. And if most people aren’t educated enough to understand the situation, then organizations like ‘Women Against Feminism’ or those misandrist will still be around, misguided by the truth.
As far as feminism can suggest, it’s revolution changed the game for not only humanity, but for individuals as separate entities; the more time goes on, the more chances others take in accepting who we are as people.
Whether it’s going to take the government, the people, or a single person to influence an idea, many take part in fighting for what is, the world’s allegedly most
challenged topic: gender roles.
By Haley Brezina
Items a typical girl may carry in their backpack/purse for their period. (Photo: Haley Brezina)
Periods are not just things that stop sentences- and you know what I mean. They’re real, they’re everywhere, and frankly, they need to be talked about.
Some things are better left unspoken- periods are not one of them. For the average female, a cycle lasts 28 days. 3-7 of these days are her period. Periods are not a one time thing; not a once-in-a-blue-moon-event. In fact, the average woman gets her period once a month; 12 times a year. In fact, while not every species has a period, every female placental mammal menstruates.
A female’s menstruation cycle is as natural as the hair growing from our heads, so what is the problem?
Let’s move to the very opposite end of the spectrum. In the South Asian country of Nepal, they take part in a practice called chhaupadi, which is the act of isolating menstruating women in a hut during the time of their period. This was legal until as late as 2005, and is still observed to this day in western parts of the country. This practice was derived from the idea that women were toxic while menstruating.
Knowing this, we can extract the main cause of chhaupadi- the idea that menstruating women are toxic. To us, this idea is absurd- but it provides a clear explanation. People are uneducated on how the female menstruation process works. 64% of 80 anonymous survey takers have admitted to even making assumptions that when a girl is excessively moody, that it is “that time of the month”.
Queen Creek High School Senior Zane Magill states, “I guess boys just don’t want to talk about it- they don’t have to go through it and a lot of them don’t really understand it”.
Because of the unwillingness to talk about periods and the history of taboo surrounding a normal event, it implants the idea in girls’ minds that it shouldn’t be talked about. When girls first get their period, they are terrified. Young girls do not want to talk about a period, and this is why periods are a stigma.
Any incidents of comments or bullying about their periods always sticks with a girl, and as a general community, 66% of 67 anonymous survey takers believe there is a stigma surrounding a woman’s period.
PBHS Nurse Jeannie McCorkle, says that almost twenty girls on the daily come to the nurse’s office for pads, tampons, and bleed throughs. “Girls come here when they need help because they don’t know what to do- my office is seen as a safe place”.
Girls shouldn’t have to only be comfortable at the nurse’s. It should become commonplace to be able to ask classmates for a pad or a tampon. I guarantee at least one girl will have one, I promise you.
Periods are kind of seen as a Rite to Womanhood and made into some sort of deal, but really our bodies are working in the way mother nature intended. Ladies, don’t be ashamed. Stop putting your tampon in your shirt sleeve. There are so many ways to aid in the end of period stigma, but the most important is just to talk about it. Mark your calendars and be prepared- not for your period, but the end of the stigma.