Written by guest blogger, Eric M. Acosta
Being a feminist means that you want equality for everyone. It has nothing to do with being a woman. Anyone can be a feminist. Feminists are fighting for human rights not women's rights. This is an important distinction to make because by shifting the focus of Feminism to the fight for human’s rights, you make feminism an all-inclusive political group which is the point of feminism. Politicians and the media tend to place women’s rights up on a pedestal and it seems like they're making the issue of women’s rights separate from all others, as if this was the last thing wrong with America.
But when you really start to look deeper into women’s rights issue, you start to see themes of segregation. This segregation breeds hatred for women by excluding them from society. Women make less money than men and are less likely to receive high paying, high status jobs. It’s this exclusion that upholds long standing beliefs that women cannot do everything a man can. This subtle belittling of women breeds misogyny by making people exasperated that someone inferior is trying to take their job and shove their way into a society that they are too incompetent to be integrated into. Women become objects of an unfounded hatred that hinders them in American society. This same line of thinking is placed on people of color, homosexuals, and transgendered people. That’s why feminism is about human rights not women’s rights.
The same negative ideals that are hindering women are hindering many other social groups, which is why feminism is still important today. Although women and people of color have gained a lot in the fight for equality, the fight is not over. I think for feminism to make new ground, the word feminism must be abolished. The word feminism to mainstream culture brings stereotypical images, one being that feminists are a bra burning butch lesbians Feminism is diverse and only sticking with stereotypical images distract people from feminism's message. While men can also be feminists, I think the word also distances men from the feminist movement. Feminism is about making everyone equal so the name should be all inclusive.
In summary, America is not equal for everyone. Integration does not mean that American culture has moved on. Integration in American society is superficial. While people of color and women seemed to have moved forward, the same racist and misogynistic ideals run rampant through American culture. Feminism still exists and it must exist in order for our country to move forward.