Some people may think that there is no need for feminism anymore, that a picture of Hillary Clinton sitting across the table from President Barack Obama as they watched the murder of America’s #1 enemy proves feminism was a success. No more need to to burn your bras, ladies. I feel the need to say that while this is incredible, there will never be a time that feminism is not needed. Need I remind you that during her campaign Ms. Clinton was berated for being too cold, showing no feminine softness, then when she cried it was “scripted” and “insincere”. There was always an undercurrent of snickering and someone at the ready to make the most obvious “blow-job” joke at any given moment. The media shifted their lens when they discussed Ms. Clinton and focused their judgements in relation to her as a woman, not as a political candidate, first. So, while some may call for a cease-fire to feminism, I say women still make 77 cents on the dollar compared to men....so the fight is far from over.
I believe the main problem here is that so many of us fail to acknowledge that, like it or not, there are inherent differences between men and women. Our brains work differently, our bodies are made differently and what we lack we make up for in other ways. Rather than try to hide this fact, we need to take it head on. Women are different from men and should be celebrated for it. We are not better or worse, but we are different. Men have an inherent need to protect women, ok—I’ll buy it, but does it really mean that we shouldn’t have women fighting for this country because some namby-pants sissy man is going to cry over her if she gets hurt? Man up! (that’s right, I said it.) Women have something to offer every field and instead of fearing their differences, organizations like the military should welcome them and learn from them.
As far as women making less money than men, I believe this comes down to the “bitch factor”. When women are aggressive and forceful in the same way that men are, they become inaccessible to their co-workers, they are not admired for their courage but dealt with as if they had thorns. Women have to walk a very fine line when dealing with men in positions of power. It seems as though men don’t know how to deal with a powerful woman, never mind encourage and reward her aggressive behavior. Furthermore, women are doing this to each other! I have met very few woman in power who are not mean and manipulative to their female co-workers, particularly those beneath them. Rather than work together and help each other succeed, we so often work against each other. Why? Is it because we’re afraid that there isn’t enough room for other women at the top?
I’m about to get real specific. I believe Kathie Lee Gifford and her talk show is a haven for everything women have fought against. This show is the death of feminism in a nutshell. (hyperbole, anyone?) Now, I believe Hoda was dragged into this mess and can’t escape the train wreck that is Kathie Lee, but that’s besides the point. Let me give you one example, They had on this woman who had written some book about how women need to stop worrying about their looks and be their natural selves. If you’re happy with who you are and love yourself as a person your own happy glow will shine through. After 5 minutes or so of this bullshit, Kathie Lee and her guest (obviously not that interesting because her book and name escape me) discuss how fat their arms look on TV and how they feel disgusting in whatever dress their stylist had put them in. HYPOCRITE! How can you not see that you literally just threw away everything you were trying to do/say?
Feminism at it's finest. That's sarcasm, ok. Sarcasm.
Lastly, I can’t imagine raising a young woman today. The kinds of things that are said in songs, particularly hip hop, (click here for Usher’s latest “respect for females” song) the messages that are sent out in various young adult shows and books....the fact that we allow someone like SNOOKI to be on television and we celebrate her (what the hell is wrong with us)...your only defense would be to somehow raise a young woman who, amongst all the crap, is able to see her worth. Who judges herself not based on her clothing, and what MEN think of her, but finds a way to navigate her own self worth through her intellect and moral compass. This can’t be easy. Not to mention the constant barrage of people who RUN OUR COUNTRY proving just how much they disrespect the women in their lives. Edwards cheated on HIS DYING WIFE, Arnold has a whole other family, Weiner thinks we all want to see his junk....I mean c’mon, that’s just the tip of the freakin’ iceberg.
We can get as mad as we want about men disrespecting us and all the terrible things that happen to women, but it won’t matter until we risk being labeled a “bitch” and demand their respect. We have to refuse to be treated this way and raise our young men to treat women with respect and raise our young women to accept no less. We have to instill them with courage, because they will need it.
America is not a level playing field, sure, it’s a hell of a lot more level than other places in the world, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop fighting for more. We are paving the way for our daughters and granddaughters..don’t we owe them more than “16 and Pregnant”?