11 Simple Reasons Why Every Student Still Needs Feminism
Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” – G.D. Anderson
1. Many people still don’t understand that Feminism simply means equality of the sexes.
Contrary to popular opinion, feminism isn’t about believing women to be superior to men. It’s about making us equal to men in every aspect.
2. Nor do they seem to understand that it’s for men too.
Men need equality as much as women do. University can be stressful at times, but if men feel that they’re not allowed to express emotion or talk about their problems in fear of being called “feminine”, they are more likely to show signs of depression. Women need to support men just as much as men need to support women.
3. It seems like madness that the gender pay gap still exists.
This year, UCAS figures revealed that more women were awarded places at Cambridge than men, and yet when those women graduate, they’ll likely be earning less than their male counterparts thanks to the ever-present gender pay gap which currently stands at 19.1%.
4. And that women who stand up for what they believe in are often labelled as “bossy” or “feminazis”.
As Bette Davis correctly put it: “When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a women gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.” Until women can stand up for themselves without being incorrectly and offensively labelled as “bitches” or “feminizis” or even, ridiculously, “lesbians” (as if that’s an insult), we still need feminism.
5. There’s still evidence that crime against female students in particular is a real and unwanted threat.
It’s 2017, and yet universities such as the University of Sheffield are having to provide “Safety Buses” to transport female students to and from campus in acknowledgement of the threat posed to their safety. For me personally, university is the place where I get cat-called the most. It might be a crime per se, but it feels threatening, like you’re suddenly an object with the sole purpose of looking ‘good’. It’s not flattering, it’s not funny and it’s certainly not a compliment.
6. And we have a long way to go in terms of teaching men not to attack, rather than teaching women that it’s their fault for dressing the “wrong” way.
If a female student wants to wear a short, tight dress on a night out, she should be able to do so without fear of people thinking she’s “asking for it”.
7. Women are often either shamed for enjoying sex…
If a woman likes to have sex, she’s called a slut and shamed for it. But if a guy talks about how many girls he’s been with, he gets called a player and given a pat on the back. Double standards, anyone?
8. Or judged for not flaunting how much they enjoy it.
While some women are shamed for sleeping around, others are shamed for not doing so and accused of “not living life to the full.” At what point are we all going to stop taking such an unwanted, vested interest in women’s sex lives?
9. Feminism has helped bring about the introduction of great things like sexual consent classes.
Aimed at and benefiting both men and women, these classes are a way for us to promote healthy sex lives at university.
10. And more vital awareness about how far we are from achieving worldwide equality.
From the fact that around 3 million girls are at risk of being victims of female genital mutilation every year to the staggering lack of reproductive rights in a staggering amount of countries, the more people learn, the more chances we have of finally achieving equality for all.
11. Most importantly, as students, we’re incredibly lucky to have the right to an education. The same cannot be said for millions of girls.
Girls are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to education all around the world. Imagine never being able to have attended nursery, or primary school, or secondary school, or university? Students are the future and if we can work towards gender equality, we can create a society that is inclusive of everyone and takes everyone’s rights into account.