What does feminism mean to you?

In a previous posting, I referenced a post I had seen where people filled in the blanks of the statement “I need feminism because….” I think there are a lot of stereotypes that still fly around about what feminism is, what it stands for and its relevance in modern society. The fact of the matter there are always going to be groups that need to advocate for the needs of others. There are many many different groups of people in our culture. With that mix, we need people who understand the needs of each group.Simply telling people to join the melting pot without the pot expanding to make room is just not realistic anymore. On that note, while the historic images of bra burning lesbians may not seem to apply to our modern culture, the reality is, women have needs that society needs to expand to make room for and take into account. I have mentioned a list of things in the post prior to this but the reality is that our society has advanced in some areas while staying steep[ed in history in other areas.

In the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, men worked and received a “family wage” because it was standard for a man to be the breadwinner, supporting children and a wife at home. Women did work for “pin money” or fun money basically. By contrast, in 2015, most women and men work and both support themselves, children, spouses and pay bills. Unfortunately there are still many areas of the work world which do not pay women equal to a man for equal work. The prevailing reason for this seems to be based on “how its always been.” I don’t think employers themselves know the history behind the wage gap nor general society. Unfortunately what others see is not history, but a devaluing of work when it is performed by a woman/person of color/etc rather than a person who historically/stereotypically has held said job. I get that change is hard, but not impossible. The reality is once change happens and we move forward, “how its been” will become a thing of the past, allowing a new “how it is” to be accepted.

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