Feminism is still relevant in today’s world

By Carrie Bass

As a gender and women’s studies minor, I cannot begin to count how many times I have endured a class where the majority response to the question, “Are you a feminist?” is “No.” The next inevitable question is always, “Why not?”

Most people shy away from identification as feminists either because they are afraid of being associated with the negative stereotypes surrounding the term “feminism” or because they feel that feminism is no longer necessary.

I think this belief needs further consideration. One of the best and most pertinent examples of the need for feminism exists in the wide world of American politics.

With the primaries looming in the near future, it is difficult to ignore the role that women are playing in politics and the roles they aren’t. Most people are aware that the United States has never had a female president – or a president of a racial minority, of homosexual identification, of non-Christian faith, etc. – while other countries considered to be less free or open, such as China, have. Throughout her entire career in the political eye, from first lady to senator to presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton has been criticized on many counts but mostly because she is a woman.

In general, people seem to know more about Clinton’s fashion mistakes than her politics. Recently, scandal swept the Internet and news programs when Clinton appeared to display an inch of cleavage. More debate ensued over Clinton’s cleavage than has taken place thus far regarding her campaign platforms.

Additionally, Hillary Clinton continues to campaign in her husband’s shadow, as an imitator constantly assumed to mirror his political principles.

The United States consistently ranks low on international lists calculating the participation of women in government. Though it is not technically appropriate to consider the “unbiased” judiciary branch in this assessment, female judges are just as few and far between as female senators.

I do not want to dismiss the accomplishments of those women who have broken into the patriarchal world of politics; rather, I commend them for succeeding against exceedingly difficult odds.

I simply wish to urge liberal-minded (not just liberal) men and women to reconsider their belief that feminism has ceased to be relevant.

The battle for equality in every sense of the word has not yet been won in the world of politics, nor, I suspect, anywhere else.