The F Word: Feminism

Over the past two years, there have been fights for women’s rights, and equality, including the Fight for $15. In April of 2015, millions of women flooded the streets to raise awareness of the growing majority of women working in the fast food industry who need to be provided with enough money to care for their children and earn a decent living. The fight for labor justice is nowhere close to being over; if anything, it is just beginning.

More recently, in January, the women’s marches across the United States, and even internationally, made headlines. In about 300 cities, around 3.2 million people, supported the start of the new wave of modern day feminism. Groups like Guerilla Girls, who are an anonymous group of feminists, have gained momentum with their radical activism, “Reinventing the F word: Feminism!”  Their motto describes the chain reaction of supporters and activists for 2017’s girl power movement. Celebrities like Amandla Stenberg and Emma Watson have considered themselves to be feminists and have worked on different projects like HeForShe and Watson’s own feminist book club. Unfortunately, the community has received a lot of negative attention, including slurs like “femi-nazis” and Donald Trump’s very own “nasty woman”. Though the latter was originally targeted at Hillary Clinton, it soon went viral and turned into a prideful symbol for new age feminism, like #IAmANastyWoman. 

What people find difficult, however, is defining who or what it takes to be considered a “feminist.” A recent example is Emma Watson, and how she struggled with people as they questioned her about her racy cover of this month’s issue of Vanity Fair. Defending herself, she claimed, “not everything a feminist does is a feminist act”, which is certainly accurate. Conservatism and feminism have often been compared in terms of defining what it is to be a feminist. Not only are there expectations for our hatred of men, but also traditionalism and almost this underlying conjecture of celibacy. As soon as a woman is sexualized, her morals are challenged and her feminist ideals are doubted. 

Thankfully, this year proves the start of an unconventional and radical movement for women’s rights. It’s come to the point where women are frustrated and decided to redefine what feminism is. Whether is takes a million people, or just a few, feminism is rapidly changing and running away from the negativity and patriarchy the world as to offer. 

By Izzie Ramos-Foley

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