The “F” Word

BY KIAYA SECHREST

– Feature Editor

Women of every age and race have called themselves feminists. Feminists are supporters of feminism, which by definition is, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”

It is natural for people of different races and skin colors to want to be treated equal and for the most part, it is supported. So why is equality between men and women often over-looked, or even put down?

It’s 2014, and some women are still afraid to voice that they’re feminists. They fear they will be labeled ‘man-haters.’

Some people may not fully understand what it means to be a feminist, and may be uneducated about the meaning behind the word. Feminism is not anti-men, or wanting women to be higher than men, it is simply equality between the sexes.

On September 20th of this year, British actress and United Nations ambassador, Emma Watson, gave a powerful and moving speech supporting feminism. It also launched the UN’s new “He for She” campaign, which invites men to join the fight to end gender inequality.

As Watson points out in her speech, men have faced gender stereotypes as well. They too can often feel like they have an image to uphold, “I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less ‘macho’…” Watson stated in her speech.

In recent years, multiple female idols have become self-proclaimed feminists and actively support the movement. Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Emma Stone, Lorde, and Beyoncé are just a few examples of the many feminists present in today’s world.

Famous males are also starting to support gender equality, proving once again that this isn’t just a female issue. Some males include John Legend, Daniel Radcliffe, Joseph Gorden-Levitt, and Ryan Gosling.

The fact that these artists, actors, and actresses support feminism has helped make the word more accepted amongst the younger generation. However, many still hear it with a more negative connotation.

As a female, it’s hard to imagine not supporting feminism. It would go against every instinct in my being, and it’s a shame that some are still afraid to call themselves ‘a feminist.’

Being against feminism is telling young girls in developing countries that they don’t deserve an education, simply because of their sex. It’s telling single Moms and Dads that they don’t have the ability to raise a child alone.

Being against feminism is telling people that they must act or be a certain way because their gender limits them; that they must conform to fit themselves into the mold they are given. It’s encouraging the idea that we should all be the same.

No one, male or female, should have a fear of being labeled as a feminist because it is supporting equal opportunities for both sexes. Feminism is advocating the right for every human to live his or her own life.

To watch Emma Watson’s United Nations speech click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-iFl4qhBsE

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