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A Millennial's View on Why Feminism Is Failing

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Even with her new found momentum, Hillary Clinton still lost the millennial vote in every Super Tuesday state, which once again leaves us wondering- why do so many young women tend to dislike both Hillary Clinton and feminism. Our hang-ups with feminism are confusing, considering members of our generation are some of the most passionate supporters of the LGBT movement, and have orchestrated some of the most notable Black Lives Matter protests. But despite our activism in these movements we just aren't turning out for feminism, partly because unlike Black Lives Matter, and LGBT, feminism has been hurt by social media instead of helped. The communication advantages brought by these new platforms have helped feminism gain nothing but one million new adversaries.

Social media has become a breeding ground for feminist hatred; springing many anti-feminist accounts, most notably@meninsttweets, a twitter account dedicated to mocking feminism with an impressive fan base of 1.18 million followers. These meninists are not radical rightists; they are just one example of the many millennials who don't take feminism seriously. But what began as a joke is beginning to seriously impact the future feminism. @meninisttweets is beginning to have more control over feminism's image among teens than feminists do.

Their endless mainstream exposure gives them direct access to teens who only know the feminism shown on social media; which gets ugly.@meninsttweets publicizes the radical underbelly of the feminist movement by posting extreme and insensitive Tumblr rants from so called "feminazis," in an attempt to make feminism appear extreme. They refuse to promote the legitimate messages of feminist leaders, such as Malala Yousafzai, or Laverne Cox. They have painted feminists as radical man-haters in the eyes of future generations. The rhetoric that is fed to their 1.1 million followers, and all followers of similar accounts, is propaganda, and they get away with it because feminism is not protected by the political correctness umbrella, provided to both black lives matter, and LGBT. The biggest defenders of other movements are millennials, and they speak up because their causes still have battles to be won.

Feminism, on the other hand, seems to be made up of outdated issues. It's thought of by millennials as their mothers' movement, one fighting for tired, stale ideas catering to the white, cis, and, straight. Hollywood and the mainstream media force-feed this tired 3rd wave feminism to their viewers because it's safe, agreeable, and consequently boring. Its promotion allows it to remain the face of feminism, which is why the movement is suffering. Millennials are uninspired by what we think of as feminism, because we believe we already have everything it's fighting for. Sure, there is the issue of pay inequality, but to us pay inequality is an elusive injustice. It's difficult to detect, and certainly not overt enough to fuel an entire movement. But feminism hasn't run out of issues to work through, the media has merely exasperated the ideas it still believes feminism stands for. In reality, feminism's ideas have changed; it's simply its portrayal that hasn't.

On the fringe of the movement, intersectional feminism has become a driving force, promoting progressive ideas that focus on inclusiveness, and sexual liberation. Its causes, such as feminism for minorities, the disabled, and yes, free the nipple, are exciting, and fresh enough to revive the passion that was once central to the movement, but they have yet to be accepted by the mainstream. Until these progressive causes can be accepted into popular culture, feminism won't be able to progress, and women's rights will falsely be seen as an accomplishment, rather than a war that has yet to be won.

Elizabeth Love is a Teen Activist living in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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