• Rachel Loechelt

“The F Word” and why we shouldn’t be ashamed to say it.

I’m talking about Feminism.

Why are so many women afraid to admit they are feminist? If you’re anything like I used to be, I completely understand why the label makes you cringe. The word has been used time and time again with a negative stigma. Well, it’s time to reclaim the word and be proud to be a woman. Let’s get rid of the notion that feminist are “crazy” and “man hating” women. Let’s erase the image in our minds of the half naked women marching in the streets burning their bras and trying to rip men’s heads off. Being a feminist means you believe that men and woman should be equal. Just as simple as that. No, feminism doesn’t mean superiority. Equality. Get it? Got it? Good.

Women have come such a long way. In the 1920’s, women won their long hard fight to have the same rights as men. From then on, we are still fighting to be completely equal. Yes, as women, we have rights. Anti discrimination laws have been placed in the workforce and we have been granted our right to vote. I do believe we have a long way to go, but the progress women have made the past 100 years is honorable to say the least. As a woman myself, I have grown to appreciate the rights I have today. It’s unreal to think that not long ago, I wouldn’t be able to live as freely as I do today.

There is still so much farther to come, though. Women are still being treated less than in society. Why are we still worried about our rights being taken away? I am worried Roe V Wade will be overturned. That CAN NOT happen. Women should have the rights to their own bodies. Period. I’m afraid that we have made so much progress just to have it taken away. I’m sad that men are still getting away with sexual assault as freely as they are. 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted. 32,000 pregnancies a year are the result of rape. 42% of college woman who are raped tell no one about the assault (Dosomething.org). When you take a look at the facts, maybe now you’ll understand why “equality” doesn’t seem so equal anymore.

Woman are still being called sluts and whores by men for having sex. Women are told from a young age that if a boy is mean to us, it means they like us. Women are told that men like women who are this way and that way. Too many women think their role on earth is to find a man and settle down. Too many woman believe their role as a woman is to be an accessory to a man. Too many women worry about the way men perceive them. Shows like Sex in The City (which I LOVE, but can see how negatively it portrays women) showcase that the life of a woman and female friendship is formed solely on gossiping about men. When did “you fight like a girl” become an insult? When did “you’re acting like a girl” become something to be ashamed of? Why are feminine things considered “gay” if a man is interested.

Ladies, we need to start treating women better. We need to stop saying “I only have guy friends because girls are too much drama.” We need to stop thinking that other women are competition. We need to stop calling fellow females sluts and whores because it’s only making it okay for men to call us sluts and whores. We need to stop one upping each other or putting women down to make ourselves feel better. It’s time to treat women with respect. Everyone. Can we please stop telling young impressionable women that they’re cute and pretty and they should be models when they grow up? Let’s tell young women they are STRONG and SMART and they should stay in school and run for office one day. Can we please stop entertaining cat calling? We need to stop letting men believe they can say disgusting things to us on our walks home with a smile and a “thank you.” Women, let us STOP gaining confidence through men. Let us STOP feeling validated by men. Let us STOP needing the approval of a man to feel beautiful. We need to love ourselves because WE love ourselves. Let us lift each other up and stop putting each other down.

No, it’s not “in our nature” to feud with other women. Yes, women CAN be friends without drama. It’s 2018 are we are finally making progress. Sexual assault awareness has a voice. The “Me Too” movement has made headway. Don’t let the “angry feminist” label scare you from being a feminist. Don’t be afraid to be proud of being a woman. Being a woman is amazing. Be PROUD.

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