If you’re not a feminist, you’re missing out

By Audrey La | Photographer

My name is Audrey La and I am a feminist. I also have many other identities including daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, artist, club president and the list goes on. As a human being, I define myself by my relationship to others and to myself.

My ideal life is one where I am able to live a life free to make my own choices and not have to consider intrinsic things like race, gender, etc. first. And yet, as a woman, I am intensely aware of my gender. When I drive my car, I think about the fact that female drivers are more likely to be injured in crashes than men because of the design of automotive safety systems. As I prepare for law school applications and reflect on what my professional life will be like, I remember that only 10 countries have equal legal labor rights for women and men and states United are not on this list. While shopping at HEB, I remember that in addition to the more expensive women’s products, we have less money than men to pay for these things.

These are not new problems, but the solution is feminism. According to Merriam-Webster, feminism is essentially “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” But it is quite vague. What does it look like in real life? Instead of uneven application of dress codes leading to the detriment of the academic performance of students, there could be equal, light and reasonable applications resulting in a positive learning environment for students.

Instead of pushing girls to play with dolls and boys to play with action figures, kids can play with whatever they want without being ashamed. Instead of women and men being pushed into certain careers just because of their gender, anyone can pursue whatever they want. Instead of expecting women to sacrifice their careers for their families, men and women can work together to raise their children on an equal basis. Instead of denying women a hysterectomy because a doctor thinks they know you better than you do, women can make their own health care decisions with full support. All of these current facts are obstacles for women to live carefree at work, at school and in their own bodies. They push women as a whole to fit into a certain mold instead of freely choosing what they want for their life.

It’s important to recognize that patriarchy doesn’t just hurt women. Men are expected to be the primary strong and dominant breadwinners. For this reason, they are never expected to express any emotions or mental health issues, resulting in higher suicide rates, lower levels of life satisfaction, and higher rates of using coping methods. harmful like drugs or alcohol. Additionally, men have fewer resources for victims of sexual assault due to the idea that sexual assault only happens to women, despite the fact that 24.8% of men in 2015 experienced some form of sexual assault. of sexual violence. Likewise, male victims of domestic violence are not taken as seriously as female victims even though one in seven men has experienced domestic violence.

To create a world where everyone can feel free to pursue their ideal life – supported and fearless – everyone must embrace feminism. Only liberation from the current restrictive expectations of men and women can result in a society free from judgment and fear. In addition to a change in attitude, there must also be a legislative change so that laws are enacted to help people through means such as improved parental leave policies, equal pay, resources for victims of sexual and domestic violence, etc. What you can do, dear reader, proudly announces your feminist identity because you support the happiness of all. Support legislation, politicians and organizations that promote equality. Call out people who make negative jokes or statements that promote inequality. Your voice matters, and we can only achieve equality together.

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