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These Women Might Not Need Feminism, But I Do

07/18/2014 07:56 EDT | Updated 11/10/2015 05:59 EST
Facebook/Women Against Feminism

Do you need feminism? I do.

Why, you ask? Because I need to know that one day, I, along with my fellow lady friends, will be seen as human beings. Plain and simple.

Don't get me wrong, I'm proud to be a woman, but a woman isn't all I am. And I need this movement to continue proving exactly that. But I'm one person, with one view point, which (obviously) not everyone agrees with.

For instance, yesterday morning, I came across the online community Women Against Feminism, and I have to say, I was pretty baffled at what I found.

Have a look for yourself (photos from Facebook):

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2014-07-17-antifem3.jpg

Ummm, what?!

To keep myself from getting stuck in a frustrated rant black hole, I'd like to provide some commentary on the above photos that can hopefully shed a little light on just exactly what feminism is. Or at least help define what feminism is not, and prove that we all need it in our lives.

For the sake of my arguments, I'm defining feminism as the belief that women and men should receive equal rights in all aspects of life. And until that happens, feminism will continue to exist.

Image 1:

It's wonderful that you can own up to your mistakes. Go you! But it seems like there's a not-so-subtle slut-shaming undertone to your point. Sure, women make mistakes, but guess what, so do men. Everyone does. But sometimes, the things we're blamed for aren't our mistakes. Case in point: the Stubenville rape. It still blows my mind that people tried to blame the victim instead of the boys responsible for violating her body while she was unconscious. So, was that a mistake she should have owned up to? I think not. And if you, woman in image 1, were sexually assaulted while drunk at a party, how would you feel if your friends, family, and the media blamed you? (Side note: a well-put counter argument on this topic can be read here.)

But, that's not to say that women (and people in general) shouldn't take responsibility for the mistakes they actually do make, like for example, sending your boss a hateful email, or stealing someone's lunch from the fridge.

To conclude, I say this: Just as men should take responsibility for their mistakes, so should women. Whether or not they're feminists has nothing to do with it.

Image 2:

You might not be oppressed, but there are woman all over the world who are. Women in abusive, manipulative relationships. Women who are sexually assaulted. Women who are objectified in the workplace. Now, put yourself in their shoes -- wouldn't you want someone to stand up for you if you couldn't do it yourself? Wouldn't it be nice to know that there are people rooting for you, people on your team?

And yes, you could argue that having people on your team really isn't doing much to physically help you, but to me, fighting against a seemingly invincible force would be much better with a team.

Oh, and society may not objectify you personally, but all it takes is one look at a fashion magazine or popular music video to see that it happens every day.

Lastly, how do you even know that society doesn't objectify you? How do you know that the man (or woman) sitting across from you at the bar isn't basing your worth on the size of your chest, butt, or thigh gap? It's a harsh reality, but I hate to say, it happens.

Image 3:

Girl, you do you! I think it's great you want people to look at you, because the way I see it, it's now or never. Also, if you've got, flaunt it, and every other horrible cliché you can think of. However, what you wear doesn't have anything to do with who you are. And it sure as hell shouldn't be seen as an invitation for sexual harassment/assault, which is exactly what some people think it is. That being said, it's not your fault men (or other women) can't control their hormones/dirty minds when they see you dressed in revealing clothing, right? And that's why you need feminism.

Furthermore, the fact that women even need to consider other people's opinions when getting dressed is problematic. Even worse is the fact that women have come to accept cat calls and unwanted physical attention when going out, no matter what they wear.

I commend you, woman in image 3, for showing off your assets with confidence, but not everyone chooses to express themselves in that way. I'll say it again: Whether or not they're feminists, has nothing to do with it.

I Digress

I don't think I'll ever understand why these women would ever argue against feminism, but I do respect that they are entitled to their opinions.

When I look at their pictures, all I see I see is a bunch of misinformed ladies who seem to have little understanding of what feminism actually is. And that's problematic. These women, and likely many others around the world, see feminism (and identifying as feminist) as a bad thing. As something to be ashamed of.

To me, however, it's simple. Feminism is about equality. And what's so bad about that?

Just because a person identifies as a feminist doesn't mean they hate men (a common misconception). In fact, many feminists love men, myself included. I've even got myself a boyfriend, and you know what, I cook him dinner sometimes (gasp!).

Oh yeah, and I shave my armpits and legs too!

So now, I'll ask you again: Do you need feminism?

This originally appeared on Julia's blog.

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