Commentary: Why Feminism Is Important

And how anyone can be a feminist

Summer Brown, Staff

As students get older and enter high school, we begin to notice some of the issues that occur in our society, such as racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.  We realize that not everyone gets treated equally. Gender inequality is a great example of that. We see sexism in our society a lot. Sometimes, people may not even notice it.

Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is also the advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes. A feminist fights for reproductive rights, maternity leave, equal pay, women’s suffrage, and an end to domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.  The goal of feminism is to challenge the systemic inequalities women face daily. Even though America is an advanced society, there are still patterns of oppression. Feminism is important because women are still behind in so many ways. 

Feminism doesn’t only benefit women; it also benefits men, as some laws discriminate against men as well. For example, men get custody of their children only 8 to 14 percent of the time, according to (One of the many goals of feminism is to make that percentage go up.) The ideal of feminism empowers men to speak out about sensitive issues such as rape because male rape is often silenced by society. It also debunks toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes.  

Gender inequality is the imbalance of power between men and women. Feminism is important for gender equality because its goal is to balance out the social, economic, and political power among all genders. It is important to end gender violence and achieve equal opportunities for all. Most Americans support gender equality but don’t identify as a feminist. “When we hear ‘equality of the sexes,’ that’s pretty appealing to almost everyone I know, even the people who would say they’re not feminists, said psychologist Dr. Annika Johnson-Campbell. “Most of them would say they believe in the equality of the sexes.”

Many men are against feminism because there are so many common misconceptions about it, such as: All feminists hate men; there’s no need for feminism because women already have equal rights; feminists can only be women, etc. All of these are myths. Feminism has nothing to do with discrimination against men. Feminists also believe in equality for every gender, race, class, and sexual orientation.  

As high schoolers, we experience sexism quite often. Sexual harassment, sexist language, and sexist stereotypes are all examples of sexism. Sexist behavior is so normalized in high school.  “In high school, I remember friends getting teased, a lot of name-calling — very gendered terms like ‘slut’ or ‘whore’ being used,” said Johnson- Campbell.  Some examples of sexist language are “man up,” “grow a pair,” and “boys will be boys.” 

Everybody is impacted by feminism, especially the current generation.  Young feminists can make a great impact on our future society. Feminism matters.