This statement and others like it have been directed towards me throughout my adult life. I have been called a tool of the patriarchy, an extremist, and yes, someone who hates minorities. Having said that, this post isn’t about me being a victim to hateful comments or discrimination. In fact, it is the opposite.
I am not a victim. I am not oppressed by white supremacy or the patriarchy. My failures or hardships are not the result of nationwide systematic racism. The rise of identity politics seeks to make me a victim, one that can never be saved because of who I am.
Identity politics is defined as “politics in which groups of people having a particular racial, religious, ethnic, social, or cultural identity tend to promote their own specific interests or concerns without regard to the interests or concerns of any larger political group.”
At first glance identity politics doesn’t seem bad, nonetheless people tend to forget the last part of the definition. Claiming to be a part of a specific group does not automatically grant anyone special authority outside of that group. We are all given equal inalienable rights; we should all be seen as human and given fair treatment. If one comes from a different or even problematic culture, they are to be treated with respect.
I’m not saying that fair treatment is always given or that discrimination doesn’t exist. Boxing ourselves into an infinite number of identities and checking our “privilege” does nothing but make us hyper aware of our differences. Continue reading “Identity Politics”→
I am a kind feminist. Yeah, this means I think of myself as a kind person who cares. It also means I think we should all practice kindness in all aspects of our lives.
We don’t have to be mean or attack others to achieve our own goals. The word fight is often used when we are talking about equal rights and feminist issues but we can still fight with kindness. To me, feminism is not bringing others down who disagree with you but being inclusive and accepting everyone for who they are. It is about equal rights for everyone and this will not be accomplished if we keep bringing each other down and attacking those who disagree with us.
The advocacy of women’s rights is nothing to be ashamed of, yet some are weary to use the word feminism because of criticism. Feminism is not about demanding that women be given things they don’t have but about advocating for the rights that women deserve. It is wanting to be treated like an equal intellectual person instead of an inferior object.
Men and women are different. They have different bodies, different chemicals, and different needs. This does not mean they cannot be treated like equals, different means different not inferior.
This is an argument I have seen often: The argument that women do have equal rights but everything can’t be the same because women and men are physically different. So, women need to stop trying to do everything men can do because they are going to lose their own special “uniqueness”.
On January 21, 2017, upwards of 2,600 people from the Moscow/ Pullman area marched in solidarity with the Woman’s march in Washington DC. The march went from Moscow City Hall to East City Park where there were speeches by members of the community and from both U of I and WSU. Both schools had students in attendance. The march was for Woman’s Rights but encompassed issues such as immigration, the environment, and LGBTQ rights. The parking lot in front of City Hall was a sea of pink hats and protest signs.
But this is not all that I would like to talk about. I would like to explain one woman’s reason for marching: mine. I marched for the reasons I listed above, but there was more to it. I marched for other reasons that are not so nicely summed up in a word or two. I marched in protest of an administration that does not represent me or most America’s population. I marched for my rights to my body. I marched for my sisters that are different than me and who now feel uncertain about their place here. I marched because we cannot ignore the facts about climate change anymore. We need to act against this threat. Continue reading “Why I March”→
Defining feminism can be tricky due to the broad perspectives and misconceptions people have about the word. Feminism is the belief that women are and should be treated on an even playing field when defining rights, opportunities and societal interests. This term is skewed out of proportion because; people narrowly define feminism as a one political party campaign. Feminism is a social advocacy campaign that is to promote women’s rights when regarding social and economic equality to men. Carly Fiorina one of the female republican president nominees wants to refine feminism and point out that republican woman also suffer from sexism and belittling talk in the media industry. Carly Fiorina wants women to decide who they are rather than having society tell them who they should be. “Feminism began as a rallying cry to empower women, but over the years, feminism has devolved into a left leaning political ideology where women are pitted against men and used as a political weapon to win election said Carly Fiorina (Berenson, Tessa. Here’s How Carly Fiorina Wants to Redefine Feminism.”). What Carly Fiorina means by this is, that both democrat women and, republican women are fighting when in all reality they should be working together. Since women are not working together due to differing ideologies the feminism movement has primary been seen as only a left-winged movement. However, the concept of Feminism is by nature much more inclusive, and needs to be treated as such in order to advocate and empower women across all social positions regardless of political ideology.
Two examples of powerful women figures are Carly Fiorina and Hilary Clinton. Both Carly Fionia and Hilary Clinton are going down their campaign trails while reporters and opposing male candidates negatively comment on their physical appearances .For an example, Donald Trump insulted Carly Fiorina in a Rolling stone article questioning her credibility because of her gender. “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you image that, the face of our next president?”(Linskey, Annie. “Hillary Clinton Slams Donald Trump for Insulting Carly Fiorina’s Appearance). Words like this symbolize the tough environment women must endure if they are successful and society is biased against electing them due to sexism on the campaign trail. There has not been one female president and the majority of people choose to prefer white men over women because of the sexist views that women are too emotional to handle domestic affairs intelligently. You can see this gender bias as evident when reporters ask if she is running for vice president and commenting on her nail polish rather than on something important. Similarly Hilary Clinton is criticized by the Republican nominees in a similar fashion. Hilary has to endure personal style comments by Republican presidential contenders and integrity questions when regarding the email server. Hilary may be the ideal liberal feminist however, being trustworthy is important especially when she has so much power and influence. Hilary lives by the words of feminism she lets the public know she supports equal rights for women. “Women and girls are central to our foreign policy and that nations that support women are more stable and are less likely to breed extremism” (Megan Gibson “Hillary Clinton Wants You to Call Her a Feminist). I think the question society should ask if it is the right time for one of these female candidates to take over the oval office. People should vote for the right women that they think will do their job right and make the correct changes. Once one of these women is elected life would change for America. Women will gain credibility; respect and society will say they are tired of the sexist ideals that people assume that since society wants women to be home we should find ways to put down the women that want to become more than a housewife. If society elects a woman into office and, she is successful society will have to change their gender ideals .Men and society would have to admit they are wrong about their preconceived notions of the female gender. A female president would encourage a societal and cultural shift on the perspectives on women. Being president has nothing to do with your gender, it should be about leadership skills and the ability to adapt, listen to your people and using common sense. I believe women would fulfill the position of presidency well because they listen better, and, have the guts to say how they feel. Evidently both women running for office may be different politically and ideologically but, we must look deeper into women right issues past the titles of Democrat or Republican. Their political stances might seem important however, we must look into their values to see who would fit America in the right way to successful lead us out of debt and international troubles.