Women’s History Month is upon us! And while we should certainly celebrate all the amazing women of the world and how often they contribute to society, we also need to remember that there is still a lot of sexism in the world. Despite the progress we’ve made, women continue to face barriers that men don’t. The ongoing pandemic has certainly highlighted ways in which women are still not treated as men’s equals.
That is why we still need feminism. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out at least ten reasons why we still need feminism:
1. Women get paid less than men.
The gender wage gap is still a very prevalent issue and highlights how we regard the worth of women’s work.
2. Violence against women persists.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared violence against women as a “major public health problem” worldwide. The fact that 35% of women have experienced violence indicates that this is still a pressing issue.
3. Slurs against women are used casually.
Words like “bitch,” “slut,” and “cunt” are often used against women. While it’s also used toward men and others, the fact remains that the language stems from sexism.
4. Women aren’t taken seriously.
This is especially serious in cases such as sexual assault. Even when women come forward thanks to initiatives like the “Me Too Movement,” they’re still disproportionately disbelieved, even though most accusations are true.
5. Women are judged for their appearances.
Women are considered “slutty” for wearing so-called revealing outfits and mocked for dressing “modestly” and then called prudes. Women just can’t win — everybody has an opinion on their looks. This ties into other factors, including whether or not they wear makeup, how “feminine” or “masculine” they appear, and even things they can’t change about themselves (like their race).
6. Laws try to control women’s (and other people’s) bodies.
Cisgender and heterosexual men are usually the first ones to speak when it comes to reproductive rights. What a woman chooses to do with her body is her choice. However, this doesn’t end here. Limiting access to procedures such as abortions doesn’t help when several unsafe abortion techniques are carried out worldwide. There’s also the fact that people who aren’t women, such as nonbinary people and trans men, are often left out when discussing reproductive rights.
7. Male entitlement dominates society.
The expectation that men “deserve” attention from women is prevalent. The “nice guy syndrome,” where a man acts “nice” to date and/or sleep with a woman, is just one of many examples of male entitlement.
8. Women are seen as “overly-emotional.”
Women are seen as more emotional than men and are criticized for being “weak,” as if showing emotions is a weakness. Anyone can be “emotional” (which is relative), and it’s time to stop judging people who express their emotions differently than others.
9. Assertive women are called “bossy” or “bitches.”
When a woman is assertive, she’s bossy or just a bitch. When a man’s assertive, he is just being a “good boss” and is well respected.
10. Women are policed for their behavior.
Women are told to smile, get rid of their “resting bitch faces,” and other microaggressions that demand women behave in a socially-acceptable way.
There are so many issues faced by women in our society that need to be addressed. There’s no way to discuss all of them at once without going into a long discussion. But I hope by pointing out several instances of sexism will help people realize how pervasive it is and why feminism is an asset to combating them.
Photo by GREG KANTRA on Unsplash