At its essence, modern day feminism, or third-wave feminism, seeks to fight for equal representation of both men and women, bringing both men and women to the conversation of fighting this gender gap.
While feminism has made gains in educating both men and women about the disparity between male and female representation, what actual progress have we made?
In recent years, movements like HeforShe, increased casting of women as lead characters on TV and the media’s effort of empowering women in advertisements have all spawned from today’s feminist movement.
In addition, 2014 saw many female firsts. Janet Yellen became the first female appointed as Chair of the Federal Reserve and, as of now, 100 women occupy seats in Congress.
General consensus would tell us that feminism has made significant advances in closing the gender gap, but the fight isn’t over. Yes, we still need feminism in a world where females have been systematically oppressed by males in a male-dominated world.
We need feminism because society still tells women to cover up to avoid getting raped. We need feminism because people who aren’t women are making decisions about other women’s bodies and reproductive rights. We need feminism because of the ever-prevalent wage gap.
And we need feminism because we must fight for representation all around the world.
Developing nations, many in which women aren’t granted access to education, remain a step or two behind nations like the US in gaining equality for women.
Most recently, an Afghani women, falsely accused of burning the Quran, was killed by a mob.
This is one of only many abuses faced by women in Afghanistan.
Compared to women in Afghanistan and other developing countries, women in the US are doing much better. So, the question comes up: why should we care about feminism here, if women in developing nations are suffering much more?
Should we just let others dictate what it means to be a woman?
The answer is no. This doesn’t mean we should just leave all the progress we have made behind. Body-shaming, cat-calling, etc. are still very real problems that women face today. In order for gender equality to be a reality, we must fight for women’s rights on all fronts.
Commentaries are the expressed opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of The Fourcast staff, its adviser or any member of the Hockaday community.