Why We Need Feminism


Original artwork by Erika Coleman

It’s Not Just For Women

Feminism works to make women equal to men, not better than them. It aims for everyone to be perceived as equal. While the movement started as a way to get women the right to vote, it has since evolved into something more.

However, much of feminism does focus on the treatment of women and how people view women in connection to the rest of society.

Goals for Women

Feminist goals for women today deal more with equality and autonomy than voting. 

Shelia Tobias, author of Faces of Feminism: An Activist’s Reflections on the Women’s Movement, says, “Only three roles have traditionally been appropriate for women in our society: the mother role, the wifelike role, the decorative role.”

Tobias continues, “Careers that are considered most appropriate for women are precisely those that appear to be natural extensions of women’s three approved roles.” 

Feminism aims to change this. It aims to have outside-of-tradition situations—like dressing differently—deemed “appropriate.”

“Appropriate” could mean that it’s okay if a woman wants to be an architect or computer engineer or mechanic.

Women receive undesirable and/or violent attention when they break out of traditional roles, dress “provocatively,” or behave differently. Simply trying something new leads to statements such as, “she was asking for it.”

Feminism strives to reach a point where it is not always the victim’s fault that unwanted situations occur. It also aims to stop the negative judgements of such deviations from the norm which act as kindling for uncomfortable/violent situations.

Relation to Men

In that same vein of thinking, men benefit from feminism as well. If it is acceptable for a woman to break out of tradition, a man can break out, too. 

Because of feminism, men can now more easily be stay-at-home dads or nurses or secretaries. Toxic masculinity seems to be on the decline in main-stream culture. Men tend to be more open than they were even twenty years ago and less likely to use violence to solve problems.  

Celebrity Terry Crews says, “Masculinity can be a cult. … I believed, simply because I was a man, that I was more valuable than my wife and the other women in my life.” However, Crews joined the MeToo movement and sees that life can be different.

Further Than Gender

Feminism goes further than gender. Tobias says, “Women are not just female … they are situated in certain economic and social classes.” This means the scope of equality and gender cannot stay on a surface level. 

This in-depth view pushes feminism to address more than just the issues that women face. Feminism has boosted other movements into action that wish to address problems with race and sexuality along with the treatment of women.

Feminism is changing the world for the better by making it more inclusionary.