Everyone should be a feminist

Students walking in front of schoolWe are women, and proud of it. However, being female comes with many complications that it simply shouldn’t — like being in constant fear for our own safety.

#YesAllWomen is taking the Internet by storm — and for good reason — all women face the same daily struggles, and sharing a hashtag on Twitter is a way of airing out those struggles with women everywhere.

Being a woman in 2014 means constantly looking over your shoulder: Don’t walk alone to your car at night without your pepper spray handy and ready to go, because there may be someone lurking in the shadows.

Many women are forced to do things that men can’t sympathize with. We always look in our cars before getting in. The buddy system? That probably died in fifth grade for men; for us, the buddy system is mandatory, regardless of age.

“Since you’re a girl, you have to be careful.” We have heard this from our parents, brothers, society and the news for as long as we’ve been alive, and sadly, it’s the truth.

We are feminist. Yes, that scary word that has the connotation of instantly being a man-hater. News flash: Feminism is this crazy idea that women are equal human beings.

Anyone can be a feminist, and everyone should be.

As women, we shouldn’t have to worry about how our clothes portray us, worry if we’ll be safe walking across a parking lot, be subjected to catcalls (we aren’t sure where you learned that, but you should definitely unlearn it), have decisions about our bodies made by men, or check in with someone, no matter how old we are.

We’re calling for a worldwide conversation with all the sons out there: Women are equal to you, which means you are not entitled to their bodies. We control our bodies, and we do not owe anyone anything unless we choose to do so.

So, don’t gawk at us. Don’t look down our shirts or at our butts when we walk away, don’t yell out your window or honk your horn; simply treat us as humans. Humans should not be treated as pieces of meat.

We shouldn’t be responsible for your actions. If you can’t control yourself because of what we’re wearing, that doesn’t mean we were asking for it, that simply means you’re a pig.

The biggest thing: No one deserves to be harassed, raped or abused, period. (Yes, we recognize men deal with harassment, rape and abuse, too.) Feminist ideals can be applied to all humans everywhere, which is why they are so important.

Men need to understand that a relationship doesn’t mean sex. This false image that being in a relationship automatically entails sex is one of many examples of male entitlement. And even if a woman does want to have sex with her significant other, or any random man, for that matter, that does not mean she is any less pure or is worth any less.

Keeping with the hashtag trend, many men will simply reply, #NotAllMen. The problem is, for us women, how can we weed out the good from the bad?

If you’re male and not a feminist, you’re not helping. In fact, you’re perpetuating the problem.

With the right amount of awareness (changing the world, one hashtag at a time) and a change in the way society views feminism, perhaps we will start to see men treat us like we should be treated.

We wish you didn’t have to, but all the ladies out there should sign up for www.kitestring.io. It’s an awesome app that can help keep us all safe by sending messages to a person you choose if you don’t arrive at your destination within a set amount of time. This technology could help save lives, so it’s worth looking into, if you haven’t already.

Yes, there has been progress, but until the word feminism is obsolete, we have not progressed far enough.

Next time someone asks you if you’re a feminist, think about what you’re answering. Do you believe women deserve the right to not live in fear? We do.

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