Published on November 1, 2016, at 1:37 p.m.
by Brittany Ray.
“So you hate guys?”
This question often follows when a woman or man proclaims to be a feminist. Many of us have been influenced to think that feminism is synonymous with man-hating. By a show of hands (figuratively speaking, of course), how many of us have heard from others, or even thought, that feminism meant tearing down the esteem of men to better ourselves?
Per the perceived definition, if you’re a feminist, you’re not one who stands for equality; you are a woman who hates men and everything they do. In an essay by Roxane Gay, author of “Bad Feminist,” she speaks on the negative association that comes with accepting the label of feminist. It is a word hardly used as a compliment, but viewed as an insult. But at the end of the essay, she states that she “would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.”
Feminism is a word with a simple definition and a simple goal. It is the mission to recognize that every gender is equal, and we have the right to fight for equality for all. All includes the different genders and races that make up our world.
Personally, when I first deemed myself as a feminist, I was afraid to say the word. If I did say it, I immediately backed up my reasoning and justified that I wasn’t one of those “radical feminists.” I didn’t want people to look at me as an angry, bitter, whiny woman. I am passionate about the issue and angry that it still exists, but I am by no means hateful toward men. Today, while I still explain what feminism is to me, the word doesn’t scare me. Nor do I feel the need to justify my beliefs to others. This is in part due to the strong women in the media who stand for feminism.
Emma Watson is a woman who fights for feminism in a different way. In 2014, Watson delivered a speech at the United Nations’ headquarters to explain her initiative HeforShe. The mission statement of this campaign is: “HeForShe is inviting people around the world to stand together to create a bold, visible force for gender equality. And it starts by taking action right now to create a gender equal world.”
It differs from other campaigns promoting equality, in that it calls for the action of men as well. A great point she makes in her speech at the UN headquarters is that men cannot fight for the issue they are not informed about. Her campaign is calling for men and women to fight alongside each other, because too many times feminism is deemed as a subject or a term for just women.
Through her fight, and the billions who have pledged their alliance to this movement, feminism could soon be viewed as passionate men and women fighting alongside together to see equality among all.
The public relations field is dominated by women. However, higher positions such as CEOs and directors are occupied by men. There are several factors discussed in an International Public Relations Association (IPRA) article about why men might receive higher positions. Some theories include the strong network between men, family planning and the ever discussed wage gap. Most studies show that men will make more money than women. With a field dominated by women, how can we expect to excel when our male counterparts earn more than we do?
With all of this being said, I leave with this: Feminism is needed in the fight for women’s rights. And feminism is needed to establish equality in and out of the workplace.