Feminism and has continued to grow worldwide over the

Feminism is defined as the
advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes. This means
that men and woman should be seen as equals and have the same rights socially,
economically, politically and financially. The beginning of the feminist
movement began in 1848 in America and has continued to grow worldwide over the
years. Woman have slowly began to become equal to men by gaining the rights to
vote, work in fields of their choice, choose their own husbands and many more. This
has been achieved by a number of acts, protests and debates over the years.

The first movement for women’s equality
started in the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th. The second movement,
where feminism was truly given a name, began in the ’60s and lasted until the
’80s. Modern day feminism began in the ’90s and is still going on today. There
are some people who believe that because women earned the right to vote, their
fight for equality is over. Recently I’ve noticed in classes, social media and
casual conversation that feminism is still not taken seriously. Although
we’ve come a long way since the 1800s, the need for social justice will never
be over until people of all genders: man, woman or somewhere within the
spectrum, receive the same rights. Just in case you weren’t aware, we still
have a long way to go until we’re all seen as equal.

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In 1975 the UK created the
sex discrimination act. This is a piece of legislation that promotes equal
rights and prosecutes those who do not follow them. This was then updated and
included in the equality act of 2010 which ensures; fair rights within any form
of contractual relationship whether it be employment, renting and purchasing of
properties or any other services or products and many other day to day
activities that are taken granted for today. However this act is specifically
designed for the UK, and some other countries have similar pieces of legislation
but many countries have no legislation in place. Many of these countries who do
have legislation in place can be seen as powerful countries such as China,
America and the UK. By these countries promoting equality and showing the
benefits to the country itself from having equality, it can encourage other
countries to follow suit.

This equality act 2010 is also put into place
to close the pay gap between men and woman. Unequal pay has been illegal for
over 45 years. Yet the current UK pay gap is just over 18%, which may be the
lowest ever but still isn’t equal. However causes of this pay gap can be due to
woman choosing occupation that offer less financial stability. It can also be
caused by many women choose to work part-time to fit in with other life
commitements such as looking after their children to save child care costs. The
pay gap can be equalised by a number of factors. These can include
organisations offering flexiable working practices, offering free child care
and encouraging females to consider all options for careers not just the jobs
that are perceived to be for woman. Perception has a large part to play in the
pay gap as perceived to be normal for a woman to work less to care for children
and a man to bring in the money. Where as if this was the opposite way around
it would be seen as being strange and can often be frowned upon.


2. Violence Against Women

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly
declared the elimination of violence against women. In modern day, one in three
women are victims of physical and sexual violence often committed by intimate
partners. These statistics are higher in countries where women are treated and
seen as property to their husbands. The UN also found that women of minorities
(including sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability status) were more likely
to experience some form of violence.


3. Rape Culture

Rape culture describes an idea that a society
or culture normalizes and excuses sexual violence. This is perpetuated when
universities allow fraternities to remain on campus despite chants that
encourage sex without consent or signs asking fathers to drop off their
freshmen daughters

at their houses. Blaming the victims of sexual assault and asking them
what they were wearing are also examples of rape culture. The belief becomes
further embedded in our society through pop music lyrics and rape jokes without
anyone correcting what is being said.

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4. Dress Codes

In 2015, young women used social media to
their advantage to expose the sexist nature of their schools. Many posts went
viral, showing what the young girl was wearing and why she was asked to change.
Girls wearing skirts deemed too short, dresses seen as too sexy and tops too distracting
were all discriminated and shamed. It’s important to realize that the issue
isn’t with what the girls are wearing but with the over sexualization of
women’s bodies. In hot summer months, girls are wearing shorts in order to stay
comfortable, not to distract

their male classmates. A shoulder or bra strap showing should not be
seen as inappropriate. Girls should have the freedom to wear what is comfortable
to them in the same way that their male peers do. Sending them home because of
their clothing reiterates the idea that a man’s education is more important and
the woman is at fault for being “distracting”. The girls are not the
problem. The problem is sexualizing the bodies of young women.


5. Reproductive Justice

Republicans have attempted to defund Planned
Parenthood in an effort to control the reproductive rights of women. As a
result, there have been mixed reactions– feelings of hostility and support
towards the organization. While some have chosen to enact deadly attacks

on the company, others stand in solidarity with it. Many people don’t
realize that abortions are a small percentage of what Planned Parenthood does.
They also perform breast exams, give STD/STI/HIV tests, prescribe birth
control, etc. It shouldn’t be anyone’s decision except for the woman it affects
to make a choice regarding her body. Laws need to protect the rights of women
to have freedom over their bodies in the way that men have control over theirs.


6. Advertisements

Mainstream media constantly bombards us with
images for products and services. Most of these are targeted at women
encouraging us to better ourselves or pick at our flaws. Generally, we see
thin, white women and are taught that this is what the ideal body looks like.
Other ads depict violence towards women that can be overlooked due to the
subtle nature. Often, we blame women for developing eating disorders and low
self-esteem, but they’re just victims of social norms. Despite what some
believe, women don’t choose to have low self-esteem. They don’t choose to have
eating disorders. Advertisements in our culture are based on patriarchal views
that diminish and objectify women.


7. Meninism

In order to combat feminism,
“meninism” sparked up. This belief degrades feminists and fights for
men’s equality… because that makes sense? First, it’s important to understand
that feminism is the belief that men and women should be equal. It isn’t
about getting women ahead of men; it’s making sure that everyone has equal
opportunities. Meninism stands for the liberation of men. Last time I checked,
our culture follows patriarchal ideals which in turn, means that men are
already ahead. What’s even worse is the women who support meninism claiming
that we already have equal rights and no longer need feminism. Basically,
meninism is actually the worst.