(Originally posted on my blog)

There is so much I could say about the very touchy subject of feminism, but I'll try to keep it to my normal word count (since I assume you don't have all day to sit and read a disjointed rant).

I grew up in a culture shaped by feminism. America is a champion in equal rights for women, which I view as a mostly positive thing. Treating a human being like she's a human being is simply what is supposed to happen (if you have any sense of morals). Women are no longer expected and required to be only ever suzy homemakers or quiet, subordinate baby makers. Girls are taught from a young age that they can pursue whatever they want, to be a mommy or athlete or run for political office. All good things, but taken too far.

Feminism (the good kind) has a long way to still go in most parts of the world, with sex trafficking and unchecked abuse, segregation and exclusion. Women around the world are fighting an uphill battle to this day, and need feminism to make any kind of progress. But think of feminism as a jumbo bag of M&Ms. We, as first-world girls, have taken handfuls and handfuls out of the bag to gorge ourselves, and now we have a serious issue of proverbial diabetes. While we are focused on getting more and more M&Ms out of the bag, we are hurting, not helping ourselves. While the other little girls who don't know what M&Ms taste like, who are patiently waiting their turn, are being selfishly pushed aside so as to not receive any.

To parallel, while we argue over petty things like insisting that men avoid opening the door for us ("I can do things for myself!") or fighting to raise wages for women above that of men (all I'm gonna say about that is this: maternity leave, ya'll.), women around the world are suffering under the every day cruelty of an oppressive school of thought upheld by their own religion.

I need feminism because I hate witnessing the appalling way that women are treated by the people who claim to love them, but hold them to no value. I don't need feminism because although it has created another world of opportunity for my gender, it has convinced us to behave in a way that degrades men and glorifies womanhood above manhood. No gender is somehow "better" than the other, we simply have different roles to live out. One cannot exist without the other. I think it comes down to treating men and women with the common decency that a human deserves just by being human. That's the kind of feminism I believe in.

My dream is to be a wife, mom, writer, nurse, and generally kind person. If any of that means that I disagree with one side or another doesn't really matter to me. All that matters is that I am what I'm supposed to be, and that others get that same chance.

Christina

[Photo cred: Tiffany Whittemore]