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Being a more active feminist in 2017, a very crucial year

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Being a more active feminist in 2017, a very crucial year

Written By Beth Turnbull, Co-Opinions Editor

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I am a woman. I am also a feminist. You would think these two things come together, a sort of package deal. But for many women, that is not the case.

As funny as it sounds, some women do not consider themselves to be feminists. Even more women are uncomfortable saying the word out loud.

Feminists do not have to be radical, they do not have to be angry and they do not have to hate men or marriage or children. There are extremists in every movement.

A feminist is simply someone who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. Look it up in the dictionary and that’s what you’ll find.

How could a woman be opposed to something like that? It sounds crazy, but these women exist and live comfortably in our society.

For many, feminism is a dirty word and has been for a long time. I think it’s time to take it back.

The most common argument I hear when someone tells me they are not a feminist is that they don’t believe women are better than men. Neither do I. The reason we call ourselves feminists and not egalitarians or believers in human rights, is because we cannot ignore the problem of gender. We should not erase women from the movement that seeks to raise them up.

Another argument I hear is that women are not oppressed anymore. Just because some females haven’t been oppressed doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. Women all across the globe, especially in the Middle East, do not have access to education. Many women are not allowed to travel outside their homes without the permission of a male relative. These problems may seem far away but they are important.

The problem of gender equality should be shared and discussed by all – both women and men.

Feminism is inherently about action. It is the only social movement heavily working toward equality with a specific focus on gender.

If you’ve never considered yourself to be a feminist before, 2017 is the perfect time to start.  I can’t lie, it will be difficult. We are facing a president-elect whose lewd sexual comments about women were not enough to keep him from being elected and a vice president-elect who tried to force mothers to hold funerals for their unborn fetuses, miscarriages included.

We’ll have to be vocal. We’ll have to get involved, socially and politically. All of us will need to keep a careful eye on the 45th president and the members of Congress and call them out when necessary. We need to stay informed on the issues that matter to us and argue accurately and efficiently.

We need to be visible – both women and men – and show the world that feminists are not just angry women who want to burn their bras and overpower men.

We need to start having the conversation with our younger brothers and sisters and teach them to respect one another. Educating our peers is vital to creating a healthier discussion on gender.

Feminists have been fighting for centuries and I think we owe it to these powerful women of the past to continue that fight. If we all stand together and make a promise that we will not remain silent on injustice, we can make waves.

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