Feminism | Posted by Maxine FG on 01/10/2011

Becoming Active

its time to get active

it's time to get active

The other day I was sitting at the table talking with my younger sister (age 14) and my little cousin (age 11). After recently aiding in the start of a feminist group at my high school I am often subject to random interrogations from my family about how my group remains active. When I began to explain my groups cause, both of my younger relatives turned to me, with the same disgruntled look on their face and asked a question that was surprisingly difficult to answer. “What is a feminist?”

I sat there, shocked, angry, and finally incredibly depressed. I have had the tenacity to call myself an active teenage feminist, yet two of the young women closest to me are completely unaware of our campaign. This is when I realized that coming up with a quick and easy to understand definition of feminism is not that easy. Do I start with the history, explain the suffrage movement, and how much the feminist movement has evolved since then? Do I begin ranting on the under representation of women in politics? Or do I hit them where it hurts, and explain how pop music and  “The Real Housewives of (enter major city here)” is actually hurting their gender?

I strongly believe that to educate our youth of modern women issues we must somehow find a way to infiltrate the media outlet. Whether it’s a public service announcement or getting highly prominent  feminist figures on major news networks, there is so much that we can, and must, do in order to incite action.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about the feminist movement, but my main question is how do we reach those who actually need our help? That is where we need to put all our energy, into those who, like my sister and cousin, do not even know what a feminist is. We do a lot to educate ourselves on feminist issues – that is the first step – but it is now time to take the second step and engage those who need it most.

Send a letter to a major news network, plan an assembly at your school that everyone is required to attend, create a public service announcement and put it on the morning announcements. It’s time to educate the people who don’t already call themselves feminists.

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  • Anna @ at 1:10 pm, January 10th, 2011

    Great post. One of the main problem with most of the social movements i have focused my time on is that we tend to “preach to the choir.” It is easy to sit around and talk about what we are working for and pat each other on the back for it. I can’t tell you how many conferences or workshops I have been to that are very well organized, where a bunch of wonderful people get together talk about things that they already know, “uh huh” at one another, and only spread information and ideas to those who already have it. You are right. We need a plan. We need to start acting on our beliefs and changing the injustices we see in our daily lives.

  • Katherine C. @ at 11:29 pm, January 11th, 2011

    @ Anna: Very well said.

  • NWOslave @ at 8:33 pm, January 17th, 2011

    Well lets see, 2 of every 3 dollars for health care go to women even though men die 7 years earlier, die in higher rates in 14 of the top 15 killer afflictions, are 85% of homeless, 80% of suicides, 95% of workplace injury/death, 98% of military dead, ect.

    2 of every 3 dollars for education is spent on women. There are 10 federally funded womens health centers and 0 for men. All DV funding is for women even though women commit 1/2 of DV. Women can abort a mans child. Women recieve less than 1/2 the sentence for the same crime.

    The pathetic 70 cents for every dollar a man earns myth has so been debunked. After divorce men have to “fight” for equal child custody and lose 85% of the time. Affirmative Action, Title IX ect. ect. ect. All laws socially, economically, educationally and politically privilege and entitle women over men.

    Feminism is a hate driven ideology that was never about equality. There are over 60 million statutes enacted in the US since womens suffrage and they all benefit women over men. All those perks and still women want more to achive equality. It seems feminism proved women are no where near equal to men.

  • david @ at 10:33 am, January 21st, 2011

    On a softer note, who are the feminist? Are they the wealthy early activist who make a living off of feminists causes while lunching with there rich friends? Or are they the young collage students struggling to get a degree on limited funds who only see issues in black and white? Or maybe they are the women that go to work everyday to put bread on the table for their family.
    Two of these groups of women don’t know jack about being strong, they don’t know jack about real life responsibilities and the on-the-ground fight that life can be.
    If your of those first two groups, you could do true feminist a favor while you’re at lunch with you publisher or at the corner coffee shop talking revolution? Please take some time to look around and see the real women of this world who don’t have time or the naivety to listen to your theoretical crap and just leave a decent tip.

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