By: Kateland Kirk
According to Marriam-Webster feminism is defined as: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. However, often today this is not at all how feminism is expressed. Far too frequently feminism manifests itself as something most would characterize as hate. Men are not the only target of this hate, women also find themselves on the reserving end of it. Competition between women in a variety of platforms typically and tragically results in women putting down other women instead of building each other up.
While focusing on competing with men in the work force, in politics, and in almost any other arena one could think of; women subsequently become rivals to one another. This trend of attacking our own sex just results in men still holding us down, for if we do not show each other respect then how can we expect men to show it to us? If we are constantly picking out all the shallow, surface level flaws that we obsess over and often scrutinize each other over, how can we hold men to a higher standard? The change we so desperately long to see and rightfully are owed will not be handed to us, and we will have to be the start of the change we want. We will need to make those changes the new standard and the new expectations no matter if your male or female.
In building ourselves up to meet the ever-growing challenges that we face we must not tear down others, and this does includes men. If we start putting men inside neatly packed boxes like they have done us for years, are we any better than them? Are we actually changing the game or are we just changing the players? We cannot rise to the challenge of changing this social norm by spewing hate. Instead of attacking men on the characteristics we do not like, why don’t me foster characteristics that we do? If we encouraged men to grow in areas that they lack, hold them to higher expectations, and welcome them into areas that they are typically not encouraged to be a part of, we may be surprised at the outcome. Their ability to meet the challenges we set before them may surprise us, just as they are surprised when we rise to the challenges they give us. We as women cannot be mad for our situation not changing if we do not demand the change to begin with, or if we don’t hold them accountable to the new standards and expectations that we set forth.
Feminism to me is supposed to be a celebration of all the traits that make a woman… well a woman. It is supposed to challenge women to grow and thrive in areas we previously did not have access too. Let us not shy away or feel bad for characteristics that make us women but let’s embrace them and utilize them in a manner that allows us to progress, and with that let us do the same for men. As G.D Anderson said, “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” With that let’s challenge social norms that have held both of our sexes back from meeting our potential and keeping us from working together and thriving. Instead of destroying each other we should be working together to solve this problem that has plagued us for decades. At the end of the day this problem is manmade, and women by nature are problem solvers.