In today’s society, you hear someone mention the word ‘feminism’ and it is followed by sarcastic remarks plus some sniggering. Feminists are seen by some as women who hate men and are set out to destroy them. That is nowhere near the truth. They are women who fight every single day to ensure women are equal to men. Note that they are looking for equality – not to take down men. These are women who want a fair society, where their daughters can live happy lives without thinking they are ‘lesser’ than men.
Everywhere you go you see examples of inequality – both internationally and at home. There are countries were women can be stoned to death for committing some crime, girls being forced into marrying someone decades older than themselves and some being sold as slaves. You listen or read about these stories and think ‘Well at least I don’t live there, that would never happen here’. Maybe women are not stoned and primary school children are not forced to marry men who are over thirty. Though that certainly does not mean that the UK is a gender equal society. Women are not paid the same as men, certain jobs appear to be men only, women are subjected to sexual harassment (I am not saying that men cannot be sexually harassed but it is more common for women) and the list can really go on. The UK is nowhere close to equality and that is truly sad.
We learned about the waves of feminism – though the Suffragists and the Suffragettes were ones that inspire me the most. Studying CFE Higher History at school, Women’s suffrage was one of the main topics – I even wrote my assignment on their impact because I was very interested in learning more. The dedication of these groups – no matter what method – manage to fight for the right to vote. Lobbying and petitions by the Suffragists earned them support from the government then self-starvation in prisons to throwing bombs by the Suffragettes forced the government to make changes. If it hadn’t been for these women, who knows how worse off women could have been in today’s age.
I could write on and on about how feminism impacts today’s world and how it can influence children. Women are in a constant war for equality that will end in who knows how many years. Hopefully in the future, I can be teaching a class full of children in a society that really is equal.