Feminism | The World From the View of Two Teenage Girls: Feminism

Monday, May 11, 2015


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Brief History

It is likely that women have been fighting for equal rights for as long as we have been on Earth.  In the United States, women have been fighting for the right to be citizens since around 1820. (History.com Staff During this period, feminists were mainly fighting for the ability to own property, work, and vote. ("History of Feminism Theory & Feminist Thought.")  They were fighting for nearly one hundred years before white women were granted voting rights.  Women of color had to wait longer, for this same right to be granted.  The voting rights bill was passed in 1965 and the Voting Rights Act was signed into law the same year.  These gave African-Americans the right to vote and got rid of the literacy tests that were keeping them from being able to register. (History.com Staff)  During this period, feminists were mainly fighting for the ability to own property, work, and vote.


From about 1960 to 1990, the feminist movement was mostly focused on ending social discrimination against women and increasing their opportunities economically. ("History of Feminism Theory & Feminist Thought.")  In 1987, one of the largest feminist movements was created.  Founded by Peg Yorkin, Eleanor Smeal, Katherine Spillar, Toni Carabillo, and Judith Meuli, the Feminist Majority Foundation is a foundation that worked and continues to work to increase equality for females. ("History of the Feminist Majority Foundation: 1989.")  This is incredibly important because it was one of the first and continues to be one of the largest feminist movements ever founded.

Issues Today

Now, the feminist movement is focused on gaining reproductive rights for women, as well as equal rights for LGBTQIA people.  Overall, the movement is currently focused on completely eradicating both sexism and racism. ("History of Feminism Theory & Feminist Thought.")  While the movement is called "Feminism", it is not about women being better than everyone else.  Feminism has and always will be about gaining equal rights for everyone.  

Inequality in the Workforce

Both immigrants and women had to fight just for the right to join the workforce.  Gaining the right to work and get paid for doing so was not the end of their fight.  Women and minorities continue to fight for equality in the workforce.

The wage gap is real, and it is a real issue.  In 2013, on average, women were paid 78% of what men were paid. (AAUW.)  Why is that?  If women are doing the exact same job as men, why are they not paid the same?  Does currency have a higher value if it is earned by women?  This wage gap is experienced by people in practically every job available.  Not only that, it is also worse for women of color (Hispanic women's salaries are about 54% of that of a white man's) and the wage gap increases with age. (AAUW.)

The Fight for Reproductive Rights

Sometimes it seems like politicians are always trying to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.  One large example of this is the debate regarding abortions.  Many people argue that abortions go against their religion, so no one should be able to get one.  This makes about as much sense as someone on a diet telling another person not to eat unhealthy food.

Pro-Choice versus Pro-Life is a very large feminist issue because it involves politicians making rules about someone else's body.  If someone really supports the feminist theory/ movement they are going to be Pro-Choice.  This does not mean that they support abortions or would ever get an abortion themselves, but they feel that women should have the opportunity to decide if an abortion is right for them.

LGBTQPIA Involvement

The feminism movement supports equality for everyone of all sexualities.  Unfortunately, it seems people who do not identify as heterosexual are left out of this movement.  There are still thirteen states in which it is not legal for two people of the same sex to get married and this is a feminist issue. ("Freedom to Marry.")

Global Issues

Often, people (women specifically) say they do not need feminism because they have never been segregated against.  While they themselves might not have faced segregation, there are many people within their community who do, and millions all over the world who do need feminism.

Saudi Arabia

Generally speaking, the Middle East is pretty bad regarding gender inequality.  Out of the many countries in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is the worst. (AbuKhalil, As’ad.)  It is pretty well known that in Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to do many things.  They cannot even drive cars.


Africa is a very large continent with many countries and more cultures than one could count.  Overall, gender inequality is almost always present and takes many different forms.  In Africa, rape is incredibly common and women (and children) are often forced into (often unsafe) labor with very little pay.

United States

In the United States, someone is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds. ("Statistics.")  Unfortunately, this is on the low end for many countries and often times rape is the punchline to a joke here in America.  Women and minorities do face a wage gap in the United States as well, as stated before.  On top of that, there are still many states where LGBT* people do not have the same rights.  Despite all of this, the United States is a country that is one of the best as far as gender equality.

The majority of women in the United States do not face as harsh segregation as women in other countries, however, that does not mean sexism does not exist in the United States.  Many women do not think they need feminism because their struggles are not as severe.  While they may feel they do not need feminism, it is still incredibly important to support it for the women who do.  Feminism is not about blaming men for all problems women face.

These are just a few countries/ continents that experience gender inequality.  The need for feminism is global and always has been.  Although one person might not experience the same sexism as another, it is still incredibly important for everyone to fight for it.

AAUW. "The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2015)." AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881. AAUW, 2015. Web. 04 May 2015.

AbuKhalil, As’ad. "Women in the Middle East." Foreign Policy In Focus. Foreign Policy In Focus, 11 Oct. 2005. Web. 05 May 2015.

"Freedom to Marry." Freedom to Marry. Freedom to Marry, 4 Mar. 2015. Web. 05 May 2015.

History.com Staff. "The Fight for Women’s Suffrage." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 04 May 2015.

History.com Staff. "Voting Rights Act." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 04 May 2015.

"History of Feminism Theory & Feminist Thought." Intellectual Take Out. Intellectual Take Out, n.d. Web. 04 May 2015.

"History of the Feminist Majority Foundation: 1989." The Feminist Majority Foundation: 1989. Feminist Majority Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 May 2015.

"Statistics." RAINN. National Sexual Assault Hotline, n.d. Web. 11 May 2015.

1 comment:

  1. The income of women vs men still makes completely no sense to me. Great post, great subject. I may not be a feminist, but I feel you on a lot of arguments!

    - Harlynn