So we ask ourselves, 100 years later, has enough really changed? Harvey Weinstein has been able to get away with the assault and (allegedly) rape of women for over three decades without consequence until last year. The UK Parliament is still dominated by the pale, stale and male. Our nation has only 208 female MPs out of 650, and only 26 of these women are not white. Just like 100 years ago, there is clearly still room for major improvement.
Whilst this is obviously a centenary to celebrate, I also like to think of it as a turning point in the fight for gender equality.
As a 16-year-old student in London, I have noticed these issues being discussed more and more by girls my age both inside and outside the classroom, signalling an exciting time for the future of feminism. So what are the views of young women today on gender equality? And what do we think needs to be done?
Talking to my friends and fellow students at school, there is always a simple and resonating “no” when asked whether ‘we are there yet’ as a society in terms of gender equality. .
There is still a stereotype that women are still seen as inferior due to their sex. One friend summed it up when she said to me, “in actual fact we have the babies and we’re just as, if not more, emotionally intelligent than men. Attitudes within society need to change to appreciate that this idea of women being of less value or less capable than men is just wrong.”
Whilst there seems to be resounding agreement that we still do not have equality, there is still the question of why some women choose not to identify with feminism. The miscommunication that feminists are active ‘man-haters’ has left some women wary of the label. I loved it when one classmate pointed out: “so what if you are a ‘bra-burning lesbian’? What’s so wrong with that anyway?”
But after a few laughs and dismissing some of the ridiculous stereotypes, the problem that we – as young women today – acknowledge, is that sexism is integrated in all aspects of society. The Brock Turner rape case in the United States, where Turner only ended up spending three months behind bars, is a stark reminder.
The fact that the criminal justice system questioned the victim’s sobriety and clothing during the case goes to show how women are still failing to be taken seriously. And you can see this injustice all over. In government, business, medicine and education, women are still underrepresented and their issues and concerns are often deemed as less important than men’s.
It is clear that despite the major advances in women’s rights, major industries still uphold patriarchal values. But this made me wonder, how much change can we be expected to make if we aren’t working together as women? Are there flaws in modern feminism?
Source/ rest: huffingtonpost.co.uk