The Real Issues With Feminism

“Happy Belated International Women’s Day”

International Women’s Day has come and gone for the year 2017. I reflected on the “progress” made throughout the years. Some great! But certain factors remain: women still being paid significantly less than men, rape culture is a thing, lack of diversity in feminism, and a woman’s body being a controversial topic for political office.

Under Valued And Under Paid

We had an oral discussion in my media seminar class regarding the issue women journalists have in a male-dominated profession. My advisor admitted to there being gender inequality in the newsroom. As a recent college grad, my male professor was offered a higher starting salary than the current salary of a female co-worker who referred him. Her quality and work seemed insignificant to her gender.

In nearly every single occupation, women earn significantly less than men. Despite their qualifications and experience, women are undervalued and underpaid in the workforce. Yes, even in 2017, women still have to worry about outright discrimination in pay, hiring, and promotions in their work lives.

Equality among sexes is a foreign topic in the country. According to the World Economic Forum reported, the United States dropped from their rank of 23rd to 45th for developed countries, which is very ironic seemingly everyone wants to live the American dream. It should have been expected. Women presence in the workforce was dropping. I would not do the same amount of work and quality as men only to earn eighty cents to every dollar he earns.

Rape Culture Is A Thing

If you find the gender wage gap of 20% frustrating, then Brock Turner’s six-month sentence is down right disrespectful and absurd. Prosecutors were asking for six years; but, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky believed a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him given his age and lack of criminal history. What about the severe impact he had on the victim? Was the judge even thinking about the her in the case? Society showed more concern and compassion for the rapist than their victims.

Not many women report their rape to the police, after all, why would they. We live in a culture conducive and supportive of men taking advantage of a woman’s body. Take the issue with the birth control and abortion debate, although I will expand on this later, men are having unwanted inputs of what a women should do with her body. In an incident with a former University of California student. He had his charges reduced from rape to assault using force likely to produce great bodily injury. I am sure with this conviction; he does not have to register as a sex offenders

Let’s be real. If a brother were accused of raping a white woman, he would be under the jailhouse. No need to provide statistics, I am pretty sure every person of color has witnessed this for themselves in the media. Rape in any degree is inhumane. But, the plight of Blacks in America differs from ones of Whites, Latinos, Asians, and so on. This difference remains to be a key aspect missing in feminism.

Feminism Lacks Diversity

Inclusivity for marginalized people remains an issue in feminism. Women praise Kim Kardashian for embracing her sexuality. Beyonce, on the other hand, is chastised for her political Super Bowl Performances.

Womanism is an ideology of feminism for Black women and women of color that created distance from the second wave of feminism. International Women Day would be pointless if feminism lacks the inclusion of all women. Why support a movement that does not represent every international woman despite her background.

My Body, My Right!

At this point in life, nothing should surprise me, yet the controversial issue of what women chose to do with their bodies baffles me. Republicans war on contraceptives and abortion rights continues to be relentless. In the previous year, Republicans attempted to deny access to Medicaid-funded abortions to statutory rape victims, violating victims’ rights and women’s rights.

President Donald Trump’s sexism and disregard for women has me more worried about the future of reproduction freedom. Citizens are anxious by the new administration. President Trump’s nominees consists mostly of individuals who are against reproductive freedom including his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. President Trump has intentions on implementing a complete abortion ban with the exceptions of rape, incest, or life-threatening for a woman. He is already a proud supporter of banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood provides low-cost communities with family-planning services, cancer screenings, and other healthcare.  Residents of these communities can go to Planned Parenthood to receive help or treatment, especially if they lack health insurance. President Trump would shut down the government rather than fund Planned Parenthood resulting in low-cost communities to suffer. Apparently, Planned Parenthood is only a luxury for the upper and middle class communities.

I am amazed by little progressed made when champion for women’s right. Even though we still have a long way to go. Why entertain International Women’s Day if it fails to recognize every individual who identifies as a woman, whether trans or straight. The issue is not within feminism itself, but with the lack of inclusion of all “real woman” and their unique struggles.

“Sorry Tomi Lahren, not all feminists are a bunch of cry babies constantly complaining about their struggle.”

About Ashley Nelson

Senior Mass Media Arts Major (Print Journalism Concentration) and English - Creative Writing Minor at Clark Atlanta University. Central Florida Native.

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