Why Feminism Is Still Relevant Today


Lucia Dong

A person raising a poster that reads “Girls just wanna have fundamental rights.”

As half the world’s population, you would think that women would have equal rights and opportunities— the same benefits that have been awarded to men since the dawn of time. But even in this modern world where progress is always on the horizon, there is still a massive gender equality gap staring us all down. Because no matter how far we have come, there is yet a long way to go.

From discrimination in the workplace to domestic imbalance, women are still treated differently than their male counterparts. It is statistically proven that women are paid less than men, and while that is a well-known and well-fought for injustice, the battle for domestic equality is often forgotten. It is women that bear the brunt of housework and childcare— and not just for women who are stay-at-home mothers, but also women who work full-time. This issue is perhaps the leading cause for gender inequality, increasing the pay gap and pushing women back to less progressive times. And it is this struggle that has seen very little change from generation to generation. So for the men who claim that they believe in equality: it is one thing to say that we are equals, and another to treat us as though we are.

Every time that a woman takes a position that is usually awarded to men, it is seen as something extraordinary. And while it is indeed exciting to see the gender gap being slowly closed, it should not be an outrageous thought to have a woman in those positions. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “Women belong in all places that decisions are being made… it shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” But too often it is seen that way— that women stepping out of the confines of antiquified traditions are one-in-a-million rather than human beings pursuing their calling in life.

Of course women and men are biologically different, meaning that some tendencies often fall one way or another— and there is nothing wrong with that— but it should not be cause for the oppression of half the population. Some women may prefer more “traditional” ways of living, but that should not stop other women from pursuing jobs and habits that are traditionally more masculine— and it works both ways! Men, too, should have the right to pursue professions that are viewed to be feminine. Occupations and traditions should not have gender labels upon them.

While feminism is a movement to raise women out of the oppression of the past, it is important to note that feminism is not an attempt to suppress men in return. Feminism is not about man-hating— it is about uplifting women to be on an even platform with men. Feminism is about equality for all, and allowing for every person to pursue what is most important to them, rather than what ancient society tells them to chase.

For many years the word “feminist” has gotten a bad rep, but it is time for that to change. As Gloria Steinem once said, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” We are not man-haters, but equality-lovers. We want for the children of tomorrow to grow up knowing that they can truly be whatever they want to be. We want for the oppressed to have voices, and for the privileged to hear all that has been issued as background noise for thousands of years.

Today may not be yesterday, but we cannot change the issues of the past. We only have the future ahead of us, but the transformation of society can always begin now.