The College Student’s Guide to Feminism

Feminism (noun): the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

To some, feminism is the scariest “f-word” they know. To some, it’s the scariest word they know, period.

To some, it stands for hatred of men, for over-dramatic, emotional women playing victim to things that do not exist or do not happen in real life. It stands for burning bras and refusing to shave, for shunning women who choose to stay home and raise their kids, who follow a typical gender-role and are happy that way.

This just isn’t the case.

Feminism is about equality. Equality of the sexes when it comes to equal pay, when it comes to the right to speak up, to be heard and not just seen, to be valued for something other than our bodies and our appearances. Feminism is about both men and women being held to the same level of respect and the same level of accountability.

Feminism is about a woman’s right to choose whatever it is she wants to choose. It’s about allowing women to wear what they want, pursue the career and education that they want, or do not want, to do with their bodies what they want. Feminism is allowing women to make decisions regarding their health and their reproductive systems.

Feminism is about fighting for those less fortunate. It’s about remembering our POC women, our LGBTQ women, our poor, single-parent women, and women in ravished third-world countries who are still discriminated against, belittled and ridiculed.

Feminism is about teaching our little boys that crying isn’t a weakness, that emotions aren’t something they should hide from and be ashamed of. It’s about teaching our little girls that they can be the next president, that “boys will be boys” is not an excuse and that men do not show affection through harsh words and shoves on the playground.

Shouldn’t we all want that? Shouldn’t we want the women, and the men, in our lives, in our communities, to feel empowered?

That’s why I’m a feminist. Shouldn’t we all be feminists?

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