Is modern-day feminism dying?
Based on research done by YouGov, an internet research firm, only 26 percent of the population in the U.S. identify as being a feminist. A more recent poll was done by Vox that shows that only 18 percent of the population identifies as being feminist. In this same poll it is shown that 85 percent believe that there should be equality for women. So if the majority of the population believes that there should be equality between the sexes, why aren’t there higher rates of people identifying themselves as feminists?
According to another YouGov poll, forty percent of Americans believe that modern-day feminists are too extreme, 47 percent of whom are women. This can be seen in the outrage over the smallest things that “trigger” feminists. An example can be the outcry over the X-Men poster in which the main villain was seen choking Jennifer Lawrence’s character. The problem was that this is promoting violence against women. False. It’s the good guys versus the bad guys. It’s a superhero movie. Wouldn’t it be sexist for the main villain to hit everyone except the female characters?
Another problem with the feminist movement today is that many don’t understand what exactly is being fought for because their causes, for the most part, have already been fought and won. Women have the right to vote, work the same jobs that men have, and also get paid the exact same amount as men. According to the Wall Street Journal, the wage gap is a “myth that won’t die” and is something that can be proven false time and time again. Even the American Association of University Women, a feminist organization, has done studies proving the wage gap to be a myth. John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 making it against the law to do so.
“Everyone already has equal rights,” says Kaija Moon, a freshman. “Sometimes feminists are over the top and demanding things that they already have. What more do they want?”
Modern-day feminists want to be exactly like men, as if it’s a buffet of rights you can choose from. This why, according to another poll done by YouGov, 67 percent of men believe women should be drafted. If women want complete equal rights, why shouldn’t they have to be drafted. Yes, women can have equal pay and women can have the right to vote, but would they also like to pay for the movie next time? That’s a joke by the way. But that’s the thing; there is nothing wrong with men and women being different.
Maranda Fisher, a speech communications major, said “Men and women are different and should stay different, and there is nothing wrong with that.” This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t have equal rights, but at the same time people need to realize that there are differences between the two genders both mentally and biologically. A man opening the door for a woman, or helping her lift something isn’t them saying that women are weak and below them, it’s them being a gentleman. It’s called being a good person.
Quite frankly, feminism has turned into what feminist writer Lauren Messervey calls, “A movement of childish temper tantrums, causeless wildfires, name calling, and abusive labeling.”
So what can be done? Is modern-day feminism losing its hold because women can’t identify with the movement anymore? Is the movement won and over? Not necessarily.
The next step for feminism would be to start fighting for other causes. bell hooks, probably the greatest feminist currently, said “at its core, feminism is a movement that mobilizes women across identities to dismantle oppressive systems.” There are many women in the world who are not being represented and who are not given a voice.
Let’s start a movement where feminism can spread across the world. Let’s create a world where women don’t need to be impoverished, held slave to their corrupt governments, and not seen as second-rate members of society. Let’s take this fight to other parts of the world where real discrimination is happening.
Ultimately, there are too many kinds of feminists. Feminists, the sane ones, need to rally together and create a belief system of things that true feminists believe. Then they should say that anyone who does not believe in these core values is not a true feminist. This would eliminate the crazy, over-the-top “abort male babies” feminists that the media portrays, and instead show us what true feminism is, which is the desire for the equality of the sexes.
Feminists need to fight the real battles that need fighting, and not be distracted and outraged by every little thing that could be considered sexist. These acts are what drive people away from the true feminist movement. If feminism is to be saved, there needs to be outcry against true discrimination in the world, rather than the little ones we see in the media.