Feminists Put Their Boot Down on Society

Kiki Gilkey, Reporter

One of the things some people will never understand is why misogynists think that they have the right to shape and mold women into whatever it is they desire. Society has been telling women how they should act, speak, or even dress since the beginning of time. Believing that one gender can dominate the other is not and will never be OK. Patriarchy and male privilege have taken over many aspects of how women are viewed in this day and age and that cannot be ignored.

Patriarchy is a system of society and government in which the father or eldest male is the head of the family. One example of patriarchy takes place in 1942, when Oak Ridge appeared in Tennessee as a production site for the Manhattan atomic bomb project. Thousands of women and their families, if they were allowed to bring them, migrated to Oak Ridge for high paying work. While this project at Oak Ridge did break through many gender barriers, it could not break through the cultural barrier. A household was not considered a household unless a man was the head of the house. The many women who came alone, struggled to find shelter, since they could not own a house unless there was a man to be the decision maker.

That being said, patriarchy has told women that they have no say in our society and that they belong somewhere in the background, quietly twiddling their fingers, waiting for the men to give them orders. As soon as women try to speak up and stand up for themselves, she’s considered “unladylike” or “rude.” Just like men, women are people and are protected by a little document called the “Bill of Rights.” Nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it state that men have the right to dictate women in any way, shape, or form. The first amendment states that we all have the freedom of speech and no one has the right to take that freedom away from anybody else.

Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, economic equality to men. Granted that women’s rights have come a long way, there is still a lot of progress to make before men and women are considered equal. Did you know that women still get paid less than men? In 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, women earned only 78 cents for every dollar that men earned and in some job markets, women get paid half of what men get paid. This is nowhere close to being fair.

Not only do feminist stand up for women’s rights, they also stand up for human rights. Whether you are in the LGBT community or have to deal with discrimination because of the color of your skin, feminist are here for you and are ready to speak up and fight for your human rights.

While feminism is often viewed as negative in our society, there is no denying that the ones who are willing to label themselves as a feminist despite the negativity that comes with it, will also be the ones to make sure that the world hears what they have to say, whether they like it or not. Feminists and other activists are leading the change in today’s society.

Courtney Ortega, reporter, has contributed to this story