Feminism In The United States

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What is feminism? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines feminism as the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. If you were to ask the average American they would probably say something about it’s a belief that women should be equal to men. Does everyone believe in such a noble goal? I should expect near 100% of people to identify with the movement, save a small minority of dissenters (return of kings?). In reality, only 60% of women and 33% of men in the United States identify as a feminist according to a study by the Washington Post (Cai and Clement). Why? It is something the class has discussed and many have certainly struggled with. I have noticed many of my friends disassociate themselves from feminism because …show more content…

Issues ranging from dire poverty, honor killings, the cult of virginity, slavery, famine, and lack of healthcare result in millions of preventable deaths annually. These issues are created by major structural issues put in place by governments and powerful local leaders. Whether it is the genocide committed by the Guatemalan army in the 1980’s, the famine caused by the North Korea government in the 1990’s, or any one of countless other examples of government and strongmen putting their own ideology in front of those of millions of others. When structures are distorted to this degree, well-meaning westerners often only exacerbate the situation. Take for instance the play pump that actually exacerbated the water crisis in many parts of Africa (Murphy). The societal system which we live in is tilted against those who do not have the power and resources to challenge it. As Alice Johnson wrote in her “Patriarchy, the System: An It, Not a He, a Them, or an Us,” we often talk about solutions to the problems we face (Johnson). Whether poverty, environmental issues, health issues, lack of access to education, or any other or the mired of issues impoverished people face, the root cause of structural issues are not …show more content…

The reason? Society doesn’t value educated girls to the same degree it values educating boys. To treat the problem might involve propaganda urging people to prioritize their daughters, the building of new schools, providing free uniforms, sending western school teachers, providing books and other learning materials (Global Campaign for Education). While all of these are good and do help to a degree, they won’t address the cause of the structural issue. In my opinion, the lack of education for girls often as the direct result of poverty. You could organize big workshops and shout that educating a girl may increase her earnings or decrease childbirth or a mired of other factors, but in reality, it won’t do anything. As Adrienne Rich writes in “Claiming an Education,” to give or to offer an education is not enough (Rich). Trying to force something on someone else will backfire, rather we much empower people to claim an education. No matter what you do, if a family is struggling to put food on the table in rural Kenya, they will prioritize their daughter’s labor over her adolescent

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