Essay on Feminism as an Example of Great Writing on a Disputed Topic
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Feminism: The Fight for Equality
by Caroline Nguyen
What does feminism even mean? It has different definitions for everyone. For young girls in Pakistan, the fight for females begins with equal and safe opportunities for education. For girls in American high schools, they fight against the archaic tradition that we live for men by rebelling against the restrictive dress codes that are apparently too “distracting” and “provocative”. For the LGBTQ+ community, it means finally having the same respect and equality that heterosexuals are inherently granted. There is still a majority minority difference in many societies that shines in violent actions and stereotypes. Despite all the progress that our female ancestors have passionately fought for, there is still an inhumane gap between genders, sexualities, races and many other social differences. However, even though feminism means different things to all of us, we are all still part of what is now termed as the third wave of feminism – where we fight for a common goal: equality.
Most would agree that a basic education is a human right for all individuals and yet there are still young girls in developing countries who do not even have this opportunity. In Pakistan, the Taliban vehemently opposed girls from attending school. Be this as it may, Malala Yousafzai, a young activist for female education, secretly blogged for the BBC about the frightening life she and her classmates live under the threats of her government. To her, solving the issue is as equally important as recognizing and bringing attention to the problem. She opened a school in Lebanon for teenage Syrian refugee girls to give them a voice (Biography Editors). The global movement for girls’ education has progressed rapidly in recent years, but there is still a long way to go. Developing countries still dismiss the importance of a strong academic foundation for girls, and so these activists work to change their minds.
In some schools across America, female students are punished for wearing clothing that is deemed “provocative” and “revealing” because it “distracts boys from their education.” Feminist students have realized the absurdity in this rule and have created movements to raise awareness on how a girl should not accommodate for a boy’s education. The emphasized regulations against girls’ clothing prove the difference in importance levels for these specific genders. High school student Alexi Halket started Crop Top Day – both an event and a hashtag used to fight the insistence that women shouldn’t wear short shirts – after she was pulled out of class for wearing one (Broderick). Her removal from class only reinforces the idea that her outfit significantly outweighs her actual education. Another hashtag movement called #IAmMoreThanADistraction began in 2014 in the form of a Facebook page, but the tag picked up momentum in 2015. Connecting thousands of passionate activists, it brought attention to how these dress codes are in place because society deemed certain female body parts as too “provocative” and “distracting” for boys to learn. Many students actively crusade against the claim that girls must cover up their body to maintain the professionalism and convenience of males’ learning environments.
There have been many wins for the LGBTQ+ community (with the biggest win being equal marriage). However, some can argue that this is still not enough. Even though the national government passed this law, it does not eradicate the homophobic and conservative mindsets of some Americans. Unfortunately, there are extremists who feel they have to take it in their own hands to eradicate queers, as evident in the Pulse gay nightclub shooting in 2016. Some members of this community feel threatened and scared to even step out of their home in fear of being called out or jumped. We designated June as pride month when we should be celebrating our diversity in sexualities every day. They should be able to live as comfortably and easily as their heterosexual counterparts do. At the end of the day, we are all people – and that is what feminists fight for.
As a feminist myself, I fight for the day where will all be considered people and nothing else. We push past our differences to embrace our diversity. We can look past the colors of our skin, the people we are attracted to, and the genders we choose to identify as. I fight so that the future generations of America can live in peace without fear of being different. As a bisexual female of an Asian race, I have witnessed a disgusting amount of prejudice and discrimination against my own identity. Called unattractive for my slanted eyes, ridiculed for my sexuality and judged too “bold” and “brazen” for my gender – I am enraged at this complete disrespect for the integral parts of my individuality. That is why I am a feminist. I fight for equality. And I fight until we can all live in harmony celebrating our differences to propel us forward towards a greater future.
Biography.com Editors. "Malala Yousafzai." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television. Web. 04 May 2016.
Broderick, Ryan. “This High School’s “Sexist” Dress Code Has Caused 200 Detentions In Just The Last Two
Weeks.” Buzzfeed. 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 04 May 2016.
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