By Shirleena Racine Baggett |Staff Writer|
I am a feminist.
By making this declaration, I am saying that I believe and stand for the equal rights and representation for all, especially women.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities; it is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.
“Everyone benefits from feminism. We all have an obligation as human beings on this planet to advocate for equality,” said Coordinator of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) Janet Honn-Alex.
Feminism—its movement, its culture, and its definition has evolved over time.
In our society, feminism has taken on a different meaning and has been negatively represented.
Pop culture has influenced the idea that feminism is just about our right to be nipple-freeing, rough and tough, independent, and anti-men radicals.
An impressionable mind would believe that Amber Rose’s push for women to be able to dress sexy and not be slut-shamed is the extent of the movement—fortunately, it is not.
Personally, I think the confusion and ill-feelings many experience have a lot to do with the lack of knowledge of all that the big F-word has done for us.
Feminism in the past helped propel the advancement of equal voting rights for women.
The movement got women out the house and into the workforce and schools, made illegal abortions and the importance for birth control headline news, helped make sexual harassment intolerable at the workplace, and was a key player in the civil rights movement.
Men, our beloved feminists did not forget about you either.
They fought for you to have paid father bonding time, changed the definition of rape in our legal systems, broke the stereotypes of gender roles, and raised awareness of the psychological impacts of patriarchy.
You are probably thinking, “That’s in the past, what are those brazen and brawn, loud and obnoxious women doing now?”
One major concern is the Gender Wage Gap, which means ladies you are not getting paid the same as the man sitting next to you, performing the exact same workload as you, which is the reason behind April 12 Equal Pay Day.
The feminist movement can also be accredited with raising awareness about marriage inequality, classism, sexism, violence towards women, fair treatment of domestic workers, and gaining equal representation of both sexes in judicial and legislative offices.
Remember, feminism is not just a movement of women’s issues but fights, supports, and stands for all humans.
Luckily, CSUSB understands the importance of student engagement by embracing the WRC.
“If you want to learn more about feminism, or become a feminist, this is a great place to start,” said Graduate Assistant Marissa Wollard.
Each program and event the WRC holds are rooted in a passion to celebrate and empower women, embrace men, question beliefs, and advocate for equality for all.
There are many of issues impacting society, and this is our time as millennials to be the change in the world we want to see.
I encourage you to do your research and educate yourself of the great F-word, and recognize because of feminism, you have the right to do so.