Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Pro / Con

Pro: Feminism Breaks Down the Oppression

Editor’s Note: This is the Pro argument in The Index’s Pro-Con debate on feminism.  To read the Con, click here.

I am a feminist because I believe in feminism, or the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, as well as organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.

I am a feminist because I cannot accept that, even though there are more women than men on Earth, we’re still marginalized in every aspect of society.

I am a feminist because I want to change the fact that men around the globe hold the majority of political, economic, and religious positions of power, even though there are six million more women than men in the world today.

I am a feminist because I know that women account for 55% of all college students, but even when they have equal years of education, it does not translate into equal economic opportunity or political power.

I am a feminist because, for every dollar a man earns, a White woman earns an average of 78 cents, a Black woman earns an average of 64 cents, and a Latina woman earns an average of 56 cents.

I am a feminist because I want to change the fact that, although women make up 51% of the U.S. population, they only make up 17% of Congress. It’s actually 4% for women of color.

I am a feminist because I know that the patriarchy does not exist to support my life, other women’s lives, women of color’s lives, or trans-women’s lives.

I am a feminist because I know that rape-culture disproportionately victimizes women. And then blames them for it.

I am a feminist because I know that misogyny is systemically rooted in our society.

I am a feminist because I understand that my experiences with misogyny and sexual assault are not isolated events that are personal to only me. But in fact, I know that these experiences are familiar to all women.

I am a feminist because I know that gender-based violence is the biggest cause of injury and death to women internationally, killing one in three women around the world.

I am a feminist because I am really tired of double standards and slut-shaming. I want to erase the stereotype that leads to a woman being called bossy, while a man is called a boss. I want to question why women’s outfits are interpreted as invitations or excuses for sex, while men’s aren’t.

I am a feminist because I think that shaming a woman because her attire is revealing, because she works in the sex industry, or because she works in any other “unladylike” profession, and then claiming to be a feminist is wrong.

I am a feminist because I think that shaming a woman who decides to be a stay-at-home wife and mother is wrong.

I am a feminist because I still hear men, even on this “egalitarian” campus, use demeaning terms like “bitch,” “slut,” and “ball and chain” to refer to their female peers.

I am a feminist because I believe in all women’s rights to have choices, and I don’t understand why the autonomy of the female body is a political question. I think that a woman’s right to choose what she can do with her own body does not belong on any political party’s platform.

I am a feminist because I am sick of seeing women objectified and photoshopped in all kinds of media. Especially in advertisements. This leads to grown women and young girls, alike, tend to suffer lower self esteem and practice disordered eating more significantly than men.

I am a feminist because I know that my fight for liberation and equality for women intersects with the fight to end oppression against all marginalized groups. I imagine anyone who fights for justice is an ally against the same oppressive system/state.

I am a feminist because I know that the patriarchy hurts men, too. They are socialized to have problematic views of masculinity that not only cripple the development of valuable virtues from themselves, like patience and empathy, but also teach them to view and treat women poorly, in ways that are belittling and objectifying.

I am a feminist because I believe in women’s progress. I want the women of future generations to know true freedom, equality, and empowerment.

I am a feminist because I still have to explain why I am a feminist.

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Pro: Feminism Breaks Down the Oppression