I wrote this blog on Feminism almost 10 years ago. It’s interesting to read it now. Can’t decide if much has changed, actually, but I do hear the rumblings, the politicians, the authors, the women of a new generation churning it up. The rumblings are becoming action. God Bless You. I remain forever a feminist…a champion for the equality of all humanity and the rights for Gender Equality and Social Justice.
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Is Feminism Dead?
…somewhere along the line
we stopped being militant…
I consider myself a feminist. I’m for women’s rights, women’s development, women’s advancement in the workplace, and the equality of women! And, unfortunately, I think we’re still fighting for it.
When I was in college there was lots of talk about feminism.There were the bra-burning days, the demonstrations to get us out of the
kitchen and into the work force, the fight for equal pay, the development of birth control pills, and even the idea of “free” sex.
So where is feminism today? I was reminded recently thatwomen still earn about 75% of men’s pay according to the Women’s Funding Alliance. I occasionally catch a conversation with some seemingly enlightened male friends who are impressed when a man raises his children on his own. Yet, rarely does the conversation include the same sense of awe when referring to a woman who hasraised children on her own.
I think somewhere along the way we stopped being militant. And, I think that’s a good thing. Militancy can be destructive. But, I also think we can’t forget the cause.
Younger women, those in their 20’s and 30’s, have always known a world with the acceptance of feminist ideas in it. Their mothers, women like me, perhaps like you, brought the tenets of feminism to them as part of their core values and upbringing. And what about the young men—young men like my son, who would never believe that any woman should wash his clothes, cook his meals or cater to him. His natural tendencies are for an equal partnership and arelationship of equality and mutual respect with all women.
Many of us have raised our sons with these same core values and they are out in society contributing to a more equal and just world for both sexes. But it seems like we’ve stopped.
I know it can be argued that the statistics reflecting differences in pay between men and women are in this day skewed. No one knows exactly what the real difference in pay is, and some argue there is none. But, if indeed we are enlightened and have moved forward enough that this is not an issue, why did the case of Lilly Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company appear before the Supreme Court? It was yet another cry for equal pay for women. It is evident that many women still don’t earn an equal wage.
This topic of feminism goes so far beyond the issue of a paycheck. In the majority of homes of working couples, the female is still mainly responsible for childcare and domestic chores. Issues such as paternity leaves are still odd concepts on many corporate fronts. Old assumptions of female responsibility still remain.
Yes, we’ve made some strides. We have some laws to protect us. But, many of the same issues of thirty years ago are still out there in the workplace, at home and in our relationships.
You can accept the discrepancies you still see, or you can speak out against them. We owe it to our sisters, our daughters, and our daughters’ daughters to continue the journey. We need to continue the education, the awareness, the values that bring the important contributions of our femaleness into the awareness and appreciation of our society.