Courtesy of rchscatamount.com
Since the first women’s rights convention in 1848, women have been fighting men for equality. More than 150 years later, women are still fighting to be given all the same rights and chances that men have always received.
On average, women earn less money for the same job that a man does. In 2014, women earned 78 cents for every dollar a man made. Inequality such as this is the reason why feminism is still necessary in 2015.
The first examples of feminism can been seen in the first-wave feminism period. During this period, women were mainly fighting for women’s suffrage, or women’s right to vote. While women started fighting for this right in 1848, it was not granted until 1920.
Other first-wave feminism movements included giving women rights that may seem silly in today’s society. However, if leaders such as Susan B. Anthony had never fought for women’s rights, women may never have received them or they may have been granted much later. Some of the rights that first-wave feminists fought for included giving married women the ability to own property in their own name, having the right to control their own earnings, and having shared ownership over their children and many more.
Present-day feminism deals with a different set of issues than those that the first-wave feminists dealt with, as present-day feminists are able to take advantage of the rights that the feminists who preceded them had procured. However, inequality for women is still ever present in society.
One major present-day feminist movement is “Free the Nipple”. The main point of “Free the Nipple” is to challenge censorship and the public nudity laws. Men’s nipples are socially acceptable, but those of a women’s are frowned upon and deemed inappropriate. “Free the Nipple” has also been made into a documentary, available on Netflix, to show their movement’s message on a broader scale.
“I came up with “free the nipple” because it’s engaging and funny—and the fuel we needed to start a serious dialogue about gender equality,” wrote Lina Esco, founder of the Free the Nipple movement.
In some states, women can be jailed or fined for showing their nipples in public. Free the Nipple is about giving women the choice to show their nipples if they choose. Instagram, a popular picture-sharing form of social media, censors and removes pictures of women’s nipples.
Feminists also have to fight against society everyday. One major issue that feminists fight against daily is rape, and being the cause of their own rape. Some people point fingers at rape victims because of how they physically looked or what they were wearing that could have provoked the rapist, instead of reprimanding the rapist themselves. Also, girls from a young age are taught to cover themselves up and not be expressive through their bodies, but boys are not taught that it is wrong to oversexualize the female body.
Rape victims can also be accused of lying for attention because there is no definitive proof, which is why women can be scared to come forward and report their rape. Once their rape is reported, women will live in constant fear. According to RAINN of Justice Department Data, only three in every hundred rapists will spend a single day in prison.
There have been numerous other feminist movements that deal with present day issues. In 2013, the law that banned women from serving in combat was lifted. There have also been numerous Supreme Court cases that resulted in the passing of laws that protect women’s jobs if they report sex-based discrimination, which ideally addresses the pay gap between men and women.
As long as there is inequality between men and women, there will be a need for feminism. The aim of feminism is not to promote women over men, but to give women the longed for equality that they deserve.