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Classic Feminism

I have always considered myself to be a feminist. I made sure all the boys in my kindergarten class knew that girls could do everything they could do, and probably better. I loved anything and everything related to girl power while I was growing up, and I was sure everyone around me knew that I possessed that girl power.  

My parents have raised me to be a strong, hardworking, independent woman, and because of this, I have found it harder and harder to relate to the modern feminist movement.

Feminism is defined as “the belief that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities.” Of course I believe this to be true: men and women should have equal opportunities and rights, but it genuinely seems that somewhere between Susan B. Anthony and now, the feminist movement has lost its way.

I keep reading articles and seeing posts on my social media feed saying that women today are being oppressed by society, and the more I consider this, the more I disagree. Women in America are more respected than ever in this day and age. The reason sexism seems to be so prevalent is that the media continues to publish stories of sexism. These issues would have never been discussed on the nightly news in the 1960s.  

People still believe there’s a glass ceiling in the workplace, but because of the hard-working females past and present, we now have the same opportunities that men do. Modern feminists continue to blame society and men for the problems we are facing today. We need to stop blaming society, especially men, for every hardship that arises. We are not victims of our gender. We need to be empowered by our gender and to continue to break down barriers—not to stick it to the man, but to empower and inspire each other. The future is not female: the future is for everyone.

This is why I have decided to call myself a classic feminist. I refuse to associate myself with victimization because of my gender or man-hating. I strive to be like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: a woman working to have the same rights and opportunities as men. To be a classic feminist is to stand for equality, not to demand female dominance, and because of this, I am proud to be a classic feminist.

- Abigail Mathis '18