When I was in the 2nd grade, I got called “bossy” by another boy in my class for wanting to lead the class discussion. He led it instead because no one opposed him, just like how the world is led by men who aren’t opposed of. I’ve been dress coded multiple times for exposing my shoulders during the summer while I see other male students showing them off, wearing tank tops. Just like how society has no problem with shirtless men being on magazine covers but the moment it’s a woman wearing a bikini, they get called a slut. Guys around me are afraid of expressing their feelings because they don’t want to be labeled a “pussy” or weak, at that – yes, men need feminism too.
Feminism does not make me superior as a woman. Neither is it synonymous with man-hating. Rather, it’s the concept that women and men are treated and considered equal counterparts. Women are strong. Men can be vulnerable. It is not to say that one gender can only be accounted towards one type of gender expression because it’s not one or the other; rather, it’s a spectrum over a large scale. Both women & men still don’t seem to understand this, hence the misusage and the negative connotations of the word “feminism” – yes, the education system needs feminism too.
Sexism is real. It exists. Young children are taught to be sexist at a young age, whether it be unconsciously or not. People are not born with stereotypes. They learn them as they grow, and they teach the same things to their children – a vicious cycle. Think about it; the moment we’re born, we’re categorized into either pink or blue. Pink for the girls, and blue for the boys. I remember when I was in the fourth grade, it was a “thing” for girls to be un-girly as possible. And the way we did this was to pick, wear, and like anything of the color green. My Mom would be so confused as to why I suddenly stopped liking the color pink (though I actually hadn’t), and complained about how shopping for me became a much more annoying process. Imagine what it was like for boys who couldn’t express they liked the color pink, when I myself, a girl, found it hard to favor the color – yes, children need feminism too.
Gender stereotypes within the workplace does exist. People make a funny face when they hear a man’s occupation is a nurse, or when a woman’s occupation is a truck driver. Or when a woman is a bassist, and a man is a harpist. Speaking of which, The fact that human beings have attributed some jobs as masculine and others as feminine, so much so that the stereotype has been rooted within our minds, shows how sexism is prevalent in society – yes, workplaces need feminism too.
The Fortune 500 is a list compiled and published every year by Fortune magazine, which ranks 500 of the largest cooperations in the United States of America. With such a large number of 500 to consider, however, merely 21 of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women . Moreover, 290 of those CEOs are men who are six feet or over (182cm or over) . This proves two things. First of all, not enough women are in leadership position. That’s 4.2% of those CEOs who are women. Secondly, it proves we as human beings are already predisposed to link the qualities of being reliable, trustworthy and faithful with tall, broad-shouldered, tough looking men. Countless stereotypes like such are casted upon women, such that force them to take the job of being a “supportive, affectionate mother who stays home” instead of a “strong, career woman” – yes, world leaders need feminism too.
It is not to say that you must be against men, in order to be for women. The strength that men hold is not to be taken away, but is to acknowledged that women can also be possessors of that strength. There are clear signs of misogyny and gender discrimination found in various things, whether it be song lyrics, videos, books, and what not. It’s been too long for this issue to still be in continuation. I’m a feminist, and I need feminism. You can be a feminist, because the world needs feminism.
– Leona Maruyama (’17)
Featured Image: Crescentia Jung (’19)