The F-word: both genders benefit from feminism

Sometimes being part of a cause can be considered uncool, especially in high school, where kids are trying to fit in and are willing to change their beliefs so they do fit in. I will admit, I have never been one who wants to stand out in a crowd, so I’ve gone along with the beliefs of my peers. However, when the table turns to feminism, the crowd that I followed for so long is hard to stand in. I believe it is time for a change, and I am not afraid to admit that I am a feminist.

Feminism does not have to be such a horrible word. It is true that the concept of “feminism” has been misinterpreted over time. The word is commonly looked down upon because it is often associated with women who belittle men. However, the real definition of feminism is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.

When I was younger, I may not have understood what the word feminism stood for, but I knew that I wanted to be equal with my male counterparts. On the opposite side, I also knew that my wants were far from coming true. As I grew up, I learned that defined gender roles were changing.

A change has taken place in society. This change has replaced gender roles with a want for equality. With stars such as Beyonce, Emma Watson and John Legend considering themselves to be feminists, a more diverse society is being created. However, society is far from changing gender roles completely.

We live in a society where women earn less money than men. Where every six seconds, a woman is sexually assaulted and after the assault occurs, people ask what she was wearing. A society where women can get fired for their looks. Where women have to deal with catcalling and carry pepper spray to feel safe.

At the same time, we live in a society where men are often afraid to cry. Where men feel compelled to look a certain way. A society where men feel pressure to be aggressive and competitive. Where men are ashamed of their interests in cooking, fashion or dance.

Both men and women have been damaged by sticking to gender roles. Everyone should be able to be their true selves and live without fear and self-consciousness. With a wish for equality, everyone should be feminists.