Northwest Missourian Opinion

When most people hear the word feminist, they think of angry women who hate every man on the planet. I’m here to put those misconceptions to rest and talk about what being a feminist really means. 

Feminism is defined as a range of socio-political movements and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal and social equality of the sexes. So if you believe that women should have equal political, economic, personal and social rights as men do, then you support feminism ideology. 

The word feminist has been used as an excuse to inadvertently call women angry and aggressive. In high school when I would talk about women’s rights and equality, I would immediately get chuckles from boys in my class, and one of them would say something similar to “You’re not one of those feminists, are you?” 

It would either be that response or “I respect women, I have a sister.” Congratulations on your female relative that you treat with basic common decency. Now increase that respect and apply that to all women you interact with. 

We deserve more than the bare minimum from men. We deserve to have your unwavering support in having the rights that men have had for centuries. If you think we’re too extreme now, then you would have been shocked about what women did in the 1900’s when trying to secure the vote. 

Women would light their bras on fire, throw rocks and bricks at building windows and protest in the streets all over the country. Considering the fact that we have not made very much progress since then — and have even reverted back in some areas — I’d say women have the right to be angry, now more than ever. 

Now let’s make one thing clear. Men, we’re not angry with you, and contrary to popular belief, we don’t hate you. We hate the fact that society, government and laws have put you above us and deemed you more worthy of respect time and time again. There’s a distinct difference. 

We want you to understand. More importantly, we need your help, because as much as I hate to admit it, those in power are still more likely to listen to you than they are to us. We need your voices to amplify ours.

I’m a proud feminist and I have been for a long time. As a woman, it’s hard not to be one. I fully believe that women deserve to be treated with far more respect than they’re given. We deserve to be given the basic rights that men get to live with every day. If you feel threatened by this notion, I encourage you to check yourself and really reflect on why you feel that way. 

We just want to be treated fairly. It’s that simple. We want to be treated with respect. We want to not worry about being catcalled or harassed wherever we go. We want to wear what we want without it being seen as an invitation to hit on us, and we want the right to make decisions about our own bodies. These are basic things that most men don’t even worry about. Do your part to make the world a more fair place for all of us. 


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