Feminism Benefits Everyone


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closeup of a young woman outdoors showing a notepad in front of her with the text we are equal written in it

Francesca Raseni Gómez, Guest Columnist

What is Feminism? Well, if you ask me and many others, it’s the act of simply making gender equality a reality and advocating for it with passion. If you ask someone else, the word changes its definition to anti male, female superiority movement, they would say it’s an evil force that should be destroyed. The concept of feminism is not a ‘one size fits all’ movement, it is simply the opinion that states  women deserve the same opportunities as men. 

Feminism doesn’t strive towards making women more powerful than men in society (that would be matriarchy), nor does it espouse hating men (that’s misandry).

We are surrounded by a world where offhand racism and microaggression are so common, we often lose sight and perception on how much it could harm the recipients. Feminism is not just for women, many people could benefit from women being heard and respected. 

Gender equitable societies are healthier for everyone. As feminism challenges restrictive gender norms, improvements in women’s access to health care, reproductive rights, and protection from violence have positive effects on everyone’s life expectancy and well-being, especially children.

If a girl feels empowered with knowledge of her rights, has enough to eat, a safe environment, an education, and an opportunity to participate in decisions affecting her life and future, she’ll work to raise the standard of living for herself, her family and her entire community. 

A lot has been written about toxic masculinity and its negative effect on the lives of girls and women; promoting female subordination, misogyny and sexual violence. However, traditional ideas of masculinity such as being tough, competitive, aggressive, and unemotional can cause boys and men to suffer too. Statistically, boys and men are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors, have an overall shorter life expectancy, and a higher rate of completed suicide. These stark realities signify that men and boys also stand to benefit from a world without gendered expectations. In an equal world, boys and men are free to express themselves and be whoever they want without rigid limitation or fear of being tormented by others.

When girls and women are empowered, humanity is empowered. Gender equality benefits us socially, economically, politically and even psychologically. Recent studies have shown that countries ranking higher on the gender equity scale are actually happier and wealthier too.

The road to true equality is going to be slow and painful, but everyone has a vital role to play in speaking out for change. Together, we can fight for and create a more just and equal world – not just for ourselves but for our children too.