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You do need feminism

Updated on November 4, 2015
Mayara Sousa profile image

Mayara Sousa, 23 years old and still figuring life out while doing some graphic design here and there.

Freeimages.com/Gabor Palla
Freeimages.com/Gabor Palla

If you have said or believe in the words "I'm not a feminist", I'm sorry to say you are plain wrong. This is not a matter of opinion. Although the suffix "ism" implies belief and doctrinal point of view, it's not really up to you to have faith in it or not, it doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman, but even more if you are the latter.

If you think you don't believe in it, maybe you were just overtaken by the images of naked women marching on the streets and graffiting buildings or proclaiming you shouldn't shave your legs, but truth is, the only thing you need to do to be considered a feminist is believe in equal rights. In not being harassed on the streets. In earning the same salary as your male co-worker who does the exact same job. In being treated with respect because, it doesn't matter how much people repeat this sentence, we are not the fragile sex.

I have always been one to stand up for myself and trust that women should be able to do the exact same things our society allows men to do without getting judged for it, but I really came to terms on how much we need feminism when I saw myself in a shared hostel room where I was the only woman. Sleeping was difficult knowing seven drunk men would come back in the middle of the night. In the end, they were nice people, but it got me thinking that men most probably never worry about these things. Two of them were not friends with the others and still they bounded and went out all together, just like that. I've also made male friends while travelling, but this situation with the room was so different and at the same time I'm so grateful for it as it did open my eyes to doing the best I can to share the word on our movement.

We need feminism even between ourselves. We were raised to see other women are competition, when in reality we need to start rooting for these amazing ladies to grow and succeed in life because this will change the horrible statistics for women's rights and improve our chances to reach our goal of being seen as equal.

When you are walking back home at night, alone, and you notice somebody is walking behind you, would you be relieved if that person was a woman? Does the fact that 44% of all women in United Kingdom have suffered some kind of physical or sexual violence throughout their lives and 99% of women in Egypt have been under sexual harassment upset you? Or that over one million children are trafficked yearly and 80% are girls? Then you need feminism. Did you know only 24% of the senior roles are filled by women? Or that only 1% of the titled land in the world is owned by women? I guess you are starting to believe you need feminism.

Feminism doesn't say you need to be a CEO if what you really like is to take care of your family and garden. It doesn't say you need to stop shaving if you enjoy it. It doesn't say you should hate men or treat them like they are less. It is trying to create a society in which you can be exactly who you are without having to fit some mold and, hopefully, without having to become statistics. We still have a long way to go, but if each one of us starts standing up and speaking our minds, we will be on our way to better days.

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    • Anna C Taylor profile image

      Anna 21 months ago from Around the World

      Unfortunately your hostel experience is a common one. I'm glad they ended up being nice people. Women face a lot more hurdles than men and true feminism aims to address those hurdles.

      Way to face down the misconceptions :)