Feminism is a subject I learned about in history class. It was one chapter chalked full of powerful, competent women in the early 1900s, and that is pretty much where my education of feminism ends. Today, the word feminism is a dirty word used to paint feminists as radicals. This, like many other stereotypes about women, is unfounded and too simplistic of an explanation to describe women who fight for their rights. To me feminism is embracing the idea that women should be respected as equal members of society and can be who they want to be and can do what they want to do without being restrained by society. It is a term used to describe men and women who fight for the rights of girls and women around the world. It is perplexing to me that there needs to be a word to define the struggle of women to be equal to men because men do not have a term to describe their struggle to have equal rights with women. I hope that someday the term feminism will not only be positive, but that someday the word will not need to even be used. I hope that women will be free to say and act as they see fit without being judged and controlled by what society deems as appropriate. It may seem ideal and unrealistic, but I hope that there will be a day when women can coexist in this world with equal rights –like every man in this world.
Stephanie Walker is a previous Development Intern at the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center. She is a Master of Public Administration from the University of West Florida, and current resident of Gainesville, Florida. She is developing a growing love for non-profit work, especially on the development of young girls and women.