This year has been a tough one for women. It seemed that there was a story every week about the rape, murder, torture, and violation of women around the globe. From the graphic images of the victims of acid scalding in India to the kidnapping of over 250 schoolgirls in Nigeria, the media was filled to the brim with stories of grisly and unforgivable acts against the "fairer sex".
Violent crime affects every gender, race, religious and political group on the planet. Both opulent and destitute feel the sting of it, and so it can be said that everyone must be forever empathic towards the struggles of those who are affected by violence, in all of its ugly forms. But for some reason, the statistics stand mainly unmoved in the category of violence against women. If there has been any change, sadly, the statistics are climbing.
The basis of this type of violence is rooted in the belief that women are lesser than men. Inequality is a problem for many social groups in the world, but the work for equality between genders has been, in some ways, especially daunting. As the 20th-century rolled on, women demanded a greater standard of living and a more prominent place in society. They wanted to work in high-powered positions, become part of political parties, fight for their country, act on the silver screen, and run international business along side their male counterparts. The journey wasn't easy, and in some ways, it is never ending.
The depressing part is apparent; all of these changes didn't start happening until the 19th-century. In fact, a large majority of the changes were made less than a hundred years ago. Considering the roughly 200,000 years that humans have inhabited this planet, it's nearly agonizing to see such languid progress in basic rights. 199,999 years is a rather demoralizing number of years to not be considered a "person" in by society's standards.
Though matriarchal reign has not been unheard of in the realm of human history, the predominant force in leadership has been patriarchal in nature. In a country that prides itself on offering salvation and opportunity to all, there are still people who believe that equality amongst genders is impossible, that men are meant to be the superiors and that any man who "allows" a woman to truly speak her mind isn't worthy of being called a man. These people like to assert that this is the "truth." If this is truth, then I would honestly rather live a lie. At least the lie makes sense.
North America has grown lazy and stupid. The people who desire to keep gender equality in the imagination are the same people who blame feminism for problems in modern relationships, stating that veering away from "traditional" relationship dynamics is turning women into men and men into homosexuals.
As preposterous as this notion is for anyone with fully-functioning cognition, the danger is in the product; an army of dazed, uneducated "alpha" males who couldn't tell a woman from a house cat. Asserting that all feminists desire to be men is like saying that everyone who believes in Allah is going to bomb you, and suggesting that homosexuality is connected to this is just as ignorant.
And of course, in our splendid towers of glass and steel, we get mixed up in a myriad of nonsense and forget why feminism is still in existence. Feminism is the voice when other voices are taken away. It proves that the women I spoke of in the beginning of this article are worthy of a life free of torture, isolation, and fear. Every human being deserves these very basic rights, and feminism ensures that every single woman has a chance to experience them.
Understand, dear men and women of the modern age, that feminism is not here to drain you of your resources. If you're a man who thinks that feminism is the cause of your lack-luster sex life, you should thank whatever God you pray to that that's your greatest issue. There places in this world where sex for pleasure isn't an option, and survival takes priority over every other human function. We have cold reality to thank for that, so count your lucky stars that sex is still on your mind. Gain the proper perspective and you will experience gratitude for that. As long as women are tortured and labelled as worthless, feminists will march onwards.
The remedy for all ignorance is simple; compassion and education. If you come across a 21st century "alpha" male basking in North American blindness, be kind. They are less-educated in the ways of human behavior, and perhaps it is best to leave them to it. Pick up the torch, speak up, and educate those who are willing to listen. Your voice has power. Never let go of the truth in equal rights.
Here's to a world where feminism is no longer necessary. May we never lose sight of that goal.
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