The Harbinger Online

Wrestling for Equality

In daily life, people interact with others through jobs they apply for, sports they play and art they create. They contend against each other through these things, striving to achieve personal goals. Both men and women are running on a track facing one another, trying to win the race. In that race we should all finish together. I’m not saying we can all get the same positions others have worked hard for, but simply that we should all have equal opportunities no matter our gender.

Men are miles ahead in this race. This is due to centuries past where men have held women back with sexist mindsets. Males have thought that women couldn’t hold political roles. Views like these have left women miles behind. Although women may be behind, changes are being made to give women the extra support they need to be where men have gotten. The support given to promote women catching up to men is exactly what feminism is for.

Many males who are confused by the idea of feminism wonder why there aren’t men’s rights activists groups, or why there aren’t equality groups for all. Well the thing is, males do not need men’s rights activists. They have not been held back by the opposite sex, nor have men been restricted from their basic human rights like women have. Men have been given countless opportunities such as discovering land, creating the constitution and taking on legislative positions. However, women were not. While men have been given respect, women have been treated as objects, not as the equal people that they are.

If there were to be a group that fought for both men and woman’s rights, instead of just feminists, no change would be made. Men have already recieved support in work and social feilds. They don’t need the same help that women do to become equal. Equality is not giving everyone the same type of help, it is helping those who are struggling to catch up.

Women are still being affected by laws that hold them back from living as equally as males, and receive treatment similar to the misconduct various racial groups have received in the past. According to recent Huffington Post surveys, women are being paid less than males, don’t receive paid maternity leave and 50 abortion clinics have closed due to laws in the past three years, making it impossible to keep clinics open.

Not only are women still affected on a political standpoint, there are still social issues they are facing. In the Maryville court case chargers were lessened for Matthew Barnett’s case, because the girl he raped had blacked out from alcohol.

The percentage of feminists in the United States is already scarce at 20 percent, but the number of male feminists is even less. According to the Huffington Post, only 0.32 percent of the men in America consider themselves feminists.

Most things that men’s rights activists want to achieve for males socially would, in the end, be achieved by feminism. Growing up, the girls who were more into activities like football have always received support. Most people think “Oh go ahead and play with the boys, way to be tough!”, but when a little boy wants to play with girl toys or has characteristics that, “only girls should portray” most people would assume there is something wrong with him. That is due to the fact that society has made femininity a sign of weakness. Feminism would help take away the stigma asociated with feiminine qualities. It would make it a sign of stength rather than a sign of weakness.

Change is not going to happen with a few screaming ladies with picket signs. What needs to change is the hearts of those around us. Change is scary. the idea of life being different from what we know makes people nervous. If we do not educate those who are ignorant to the idea of breaking gender roles, how will we ever progress as a nation?

Some people may want to support feminism, but don’t know how. You can make a difference just by making simple changes in the way you treat others around school. For instance, when you see the girl dressed in clothes usually meant for a guy, you could refrain from whispering to your friends, “What is she wearing?” You could then give her a smile and let her know that it is ok for her to break set gender roles, and do what makes her feel comfortable. Those who oppose feminism and the defiance of gender roles would become more and more comfortable with others’ differences, the more accepted the idea would become.

With feminism, there is hope that one day women will be right there, running as fast as they can, next to men. It will help the little boy who loves playing with dolls to not be ashamed any longer. With feminism, no one will look down upon those who don’t stick to their masculine and feminine titles. In the future, males and females will be appreciated just the same.

In the end, strength is not about how many weights you can lift, or how fast you can run around a track. Strength is about living your life, even when people judge you. It’s having the courage to be the best version of yourself.

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