Everything To Know About Feminism

by: Maddie O. (feminist)

History of Feminism

The idea came from a French philosopher in 1837. Feminism appeared in America in 1910. The movements started in the 1960's when the Women's Liberation Movement campaigned for equality of women and men. The first feminists wanted property rights like "equal contract, marriage, [and] parenting." They then moved on to political representation, reproductive rights, and economic rights.





During the 1940s (World War II) feminist propaganda started to pop up. Rosie the Riveter empowered women to join the war. Although they couldn't join the army, they could work in factories and make equipment. This was the first time women could actually help their country besides washing clothes and making dinner.

Today many women consider themselves feminists. Most feminists feel strongly over the matter of equality.

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Why be a feminist?

Okay, let's just get this out of the way, feminism IS NOT believing that women are BETTER than men. It is the belief that women and men are EQUAL. The dictionary definition of feminism is the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Once again the word EQUALITY is mentioned.

Economic Discrimination

According to most websites I vistited, women make around 70 cents for each dollar a man earns. Women's salaries start lower than men's and women are less likely to get raises. The average salary of an American is $26,695. I did the math and determined that, yearly, women make roughly $330 dollars less than men. That may not seem like much, but over the course of an entire career that's approximately $13,200. I don't know about you, but this seems anything but fair.
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Political Discrimination

Let's get straight to the facts. Only 17% of the congress is female. Women make up only 22% of the federal level judgeships. Congressmen are elected by popular vote. Now, I understand that maybe some of the people may not be adequate for congress, but if it was only the females not being adequate, then the percentage would probably be closer to half and half. The percentages are so uneven that it can't be just inadequcy. There is sexism going on in the government. Right under our noses.

Discrimination In The Workplace

Many women are discriminated against everyday. Women face many problems in the workplace. Not only do females earn less over a lifetime, but it's harder for women to get certain jobs. Professions such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers are "reserved" for men. Many women are not able to get the job they want just because they are not the "correct gender."

"Masculinism"

  • In the 1980s Meninist groups started to appear.
  • They argue that women have exhausted their rights and that men need more rights.

Effects of Feminism on Society

I interviewed a few people in my neighborhood about the effects of feminism on society. One person said "it gives a lot of women strength they wouldn't normally have." One man said that his "daughter is an active feminist and she's able to stand up for herself when she's being objectified or people prejudiced opinions towards her." The overall consensus is that, because of feminism, many females feel better about themselves. They have the strength to stand up for themselves.
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