A Perception of Feminism From a 14 Year-old KidsForShe Member

Feminism by definition is “the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” It is a word that symbolizes equality to the people who are treated as anything but equal. I as a white, educated, and wealthy person have been given everything in life to succeed. I am a person who has it easy and there’s no denying that, but the only part of my life that will ever challenge me, is my gender. Women and girls, no matter how privileged they are, will always face challenges that men and boys will never understand. We face the issue of sexual harassment and assault, the wage gap, women’s unemployment rate, and little things that happen every day that have been built into our society.

Society has made things that should be unacceptable an acceptable thing. I, as a feminist, even do things a good feminist shouldn’t. I listen to music that degrades women and makes them nothing but objects. When I see a nice house I immediately ask myself what that person’s father might do for a living. I want the perfect fairy-tale boyfriend just like in the movies. I love clothes. I do my hair, nails, and shave my legs to be “more like a girl.” That doesn’t mean I am not a feminist. We are told and shown that feminism results in things that reject typical fairy-tales, and that it tries to make the point that you don’t need to do your hair and nails every day to be “more like a girl.” Society has put an image of feminism in the world’s mind that we are non-shaving, man-hating beasts. This stereotype makes young girls not want to be feminists because they don’t want to be seen as this man-hating creature.

When I imagine girl thinking they will be perceived as that, it makes me upset. Girls can want to look pretty, or become a housewife, and want fairy-tales to come true! That doesn’t mean they don’t want to be treated equally. Feminism isn’t saying that we don’t want to do the things girls do, it says that we don’t want to be seen as only that. Girls can be whoever they want to be, all feminism is, is the chance to be whoever we want. It’s not being put on a pedestal because we want the same things as men and deserve more because they had it longer. It’s working, trying, and chasing what you believe in, just like any man. Yes, men have higher positions in almost every work field besides a receptionist, but just because men got ahead and are seen with more power, does not mean it should stay like that.

So, when people ask me if I hate men, or if i’m a lesbian because I simply say “I’m a proud feminist,” the only thing I notice is what society has done, and how women need to continue to be proud feminist and tell everyone they can what being a feminist really is.

I want to be an equal, and so should any girl. Men are not better than us, and we are not better than them, were simply equal. Boys and men, you should be feminist too, so when your daughter grows up, she’s treated just like you, and not like less. We strive to be equal, we are feminist.

By Jaden Towey