In 2018, feminism is a term that is used in everyday life, but some may feel that the phrase has “negative connotations”. Nowadays there are people who believe this term means man hater, over dramatic, or even think it means female chauvinism. These are stereotypes spread widely from social media and are not an accurate representations of what it actually means to be a feminist. Webster's dictionary defines feminism as “The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Equal, not women over men, or vise versa, and not crazy women who hate men. Just people who want to be equal.
Now that you have some background information, you need to learn some tactics for approaching a discussion about this important subject. One helpful thing to remember when having a discussion is that your goal is to educate, not insult. Another thing to remember is that feminism is for everyone, and is for equality - not putting women above men; this will keep your argument stronger and will keep the feminist movement where it should be. The goal of this movement is equality of the sexes, not anti-man. This can become blurry in a conversation if you do not choose your words carefully, remain concise, and speak the truth about feminism.
Feminism is a movement that shouldn’t even have to exist, but it does because there is sexism; we need to work together as a community to fight this sexism and put males and females on an equal playing field. We need to have both genders work together to make the world a place where they are paid the same amount, and neither gender needs to work harder to prove that they are just as tough and strong as the other. On average, women in the U.S are paid 79 cents for every dollar that a man makes, and a woman's median salary is 10,800 dollars less than a man's according to a study conducted by the Joint Economic Committee Democratic Staff. These numbers are devastating to women who put their all into their jobs, just to be paid less than their male coworkers.
There are many ways that you can participate in the community to advocate for this movement. For example, whenever someone says anything inaccurate about feminism you can politely correct them, you can participate in women's marches in your area (there is one on Saturday, January 20th in Asheville), and help support the young girls around you. If you are feeling generous, a great way to help push forward this community of very strong women and men is donating money or time to the many organizations empowering girls. A few of these are Built by girls, Girlschool, and even a local organization AAUW. There has never been a better time to help better your community, so don't let stigmas stop you from making a difference!
Story by Alana Kendrick and Ginger Hanlon