Feminism is currently a very heated topic, and I wanted to see what Animas High School’s view of it is. This is a topic people feel very strongly about, and most people have an opinion. Through my survey, I found that 49% of people feel that they are feminists, 32% of people are not, and 18% are not sure.
People’s definitions of feminism were varied, many said it was “Equality between men and women.” or, “Equality between genders and respect for women as well as believing in love between people no matter what.” Those definitions are definitely in line with the dictionary definition of feminism, “The advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” Some people deviated from this definition, saying, “A group of (often) extremist women who support a selective “equality” of the sexes, ignoring the many challenges that men face while using a “pick and choose” methodology to take the things that benefit them.” or just, “Cancer”. These definitions speak to the misconceptions and frustration with the current feminist movement. Many people feel that feminism is pointless because women in the United States have rights. The reality is, feminism is still important, and many people only see the radical side of it, the majority of feminists believe in equality for everyone and they fight for that. The current role of feminism is to fight for equality and acceptance for all people, and the thoughts of a few radical people do not define the movement.
There were not any reasons for being a feminist or not that were the same. Feminism is a very personal movement and each person has different answers to why the movement speaks to them or not. One person said, “I believe that women deserve to have the same rights as men do. Women are hard workers. Probably working harder than men. I’m a female. I’m a feminist. It’d be pretty stupid for me to not be on my own side.” Someone said, “Because women are f-ing powerful.” Another person said, “Because I stand with anyone and everyone. I believe that everyone should be given equal liberties in life and love and that anyone impeding that goal stands against what humanity was meant for.” People are feminists for so many different reasons, and a lot of those reasons come about because of who they are and the experiences they have had. All of these reasons share the common theme of giving power to women, and making sure that women’s rights are taken seriously.
Many people said they were not feminists, and like the reasons for it, these are also varied. Someone said, “Because feminism is 100% worthless and most feminists are just spoiled brats who get what they want. Some feminists actually have a reason to be and don’t just bag on men but right now in 2017 all I see from feminists is discrimination against men.” Someone else said, “I believe in total equality of the sexes, and I don’t think that modern feminism represents that. It has been combined with the cancerous aspects of identity politics to shame those who are not of like mind.” Another person just said, “Cuz I’m a conservative = smart person.” These reasons speak to the concerns many people have about the current feminist movement. Some people think that current feminism does more discrimination than fighting against it. Wether this is true or not, this is a view that is very common, and probably has been since the suffragists starting fighting for voting rights.
Although the majority of the students at Animas High School are feminist, many are not. It is important to understand the views of our peers when discussing these topics. We must find a way to have these conversations respectfully, and hopefully we will be able to find common ground and a solution to these issues we face as a country and as a world.