I am a Feminist and so can you!

Posted By Horizon Staff February 14th, 2013 in Editors Pick : 1 COMMENTS

Laura Robinett
Guest Writer

For the last several years, I have chosen to publicly identify as a feminist. At a place like Westmont, this self-labeling is not always easy. I heard a confession from one young man that, prior to becoming my friend, he believed I hated men. I do not hate men. I do not burn bras or shout obscenities at my male peers. I am not a radical. I am a feminist. I believe that all people are entitled to equal treatment and rights, and that women have been and continue to be treated as unequal to men.

What disturbs me about my time at Westmont is not that people disagree with my views, but that there are many people who do agree and yet choose to ignore the issues. While I know many young people who are concerned about sexual slavery, very few appear upset about the high rates of gender-based violence that may lead to trafficking. I hear very few people discussing the affect that wage disparities have on abortion rates. Few people I know are acutely aware that women make up the majority of voters, and yet represent only 18 percent of Congressional seats. We are willing to discuss issues like human trafficking and abortion; we are far less willing to discuss these issues within the context of gender disparity.

But we should be concerned about this seeming injustice. We should be concerned by the statistic that one in three women in the US will be the victim of sexual assault or domestic violence. We should be grieved by data which suggests that the average age of a girl’s entry into prostitution is 14 and that an estimated 80 percent of prostitutes suffered childhood abuse. We should question why women make up the majority of college graduates and the minority of PhD candidates. We should consider the fact that, worldwide, female fetuses are far more likely to be aborted than male. We should pay critical attention to Superbowl commercials that use a woman’s body to sell a hamburger or to Gucci ads that glorify gang rape. We should be disgusted with a cultural climate that shames women for their sexuality while also objectifying them for it. These things matter to God; they should matter to us.

Now, I do not mean to suggest that one must subscribe to feminism in order to be a Christian. There are those who do care about and fight against this oppression and yet reject the feminist label. I respect that. There are also those who do not believe that all people are entitled to equal treatment, as well as those who believe that women receive equal treatment. I think these people are very wrong, but I can respect them. What I do not respect is an attitude resigned to injustice. I am tired of pointing out blatantly sexist remarks, attitudes or practices and getting the response, “ Well, you’re probably right, but that’s just the way things are.” No, that is how things are now. It is not how they should be. It is not what God’s kingdom looks like. God has given us the power to do something. We should fight for justice. We should fight for women.

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