I’ve had a lot of people argue with me about the validity and necessity of feminism. When you associate yourself with a misunderstood label, it tends to happen and I totally get it. I’m always happy to explain that I believe in gender equality and egalitarianism, not one gender over another. But now, let me explain a little more:
I believe in gender equality because every 2 minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.
I believe in gender equality because one in four women are rape or attempted rape survivors.
I believe in gender equality because 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18 (and those stats only account for the less than 40% of cases reported to the authorities.)
I believe in gender equality because I’m a part of those statistics.
I believe in gender equality because all women have had to deal with threats of violence, sexual abuse, degradation, or just creepy, scary situations every single day. The #YesAllWomen hashtag has brought many of these stories to light and the sad truth is, for women, none of the stories are shocking. It’s just something we’ve all dealt with at one point or another, in one fashion or another.
I understand why people argue against the “feminist” label, but how in the world can you see these facts and hear these stories and NOT yearn for equality and a world where a body is not an entitled commodity?
Violence, abuse, homicide, and degradation against ANYONE is never justifiable. This should not be the norm for 51% of the world’s population. No one “deserves” violence because of their dress, actions, or behavior. Nobody “has it coming.” (What a truly grievous belief.)
We must do better.