• Tyrah Dae

Why We Need Feminism

Updated: Apr 2


- image found on @elsahosk's Instagram -

But we can't think completely negatively - we have come a long way. We gained our right to vote, we can be in the military, be politicians, leaders, and much more. There is just still so much to be done. Elaine Welteroth said in Teen Vogue's article "Hillary Clinton Guest Edits Teen Vogue Volume IV," "Hillary Clinton may not have broken the tallest glass ceiling in America - but one of you [girls] will. And you will be standing on the shoulders of women leaders like HRC whose story unlocks universal lessons in determination, survival, and resilience." Women will change the world. We already are and have been since the beginning of time!

Feminism - fem·i·nism - ˈ/feməˌnizəm/

the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

Rowan Blanchard wrapped up the meaning of feminism in a way I think is perfect, which is, "Undoing patriarchal structures against marginalized people - structures that fight against people of color, that fight against women, that fight against disabled people, that fight against LGBTQ." Feminism is sometimes seen as a bad word - as a negative opinion - when really, feminism is the exact opposite. Everyone has the right to have a voice. Everyone has the right to be equal to each other. We need to educate ourselves on this topic, because so many people I talk to think that feminists are just angry women that are attacking men.

Why are women seen at fault when sexual assault occurs? Why are women paid less and less respected in the workforce? Why do girls have to cover up their bodies to accommodate to "distracted boys" in school? Women have been stereotyped and seen as "lesser than" since the beginning of time in the common society, but the question is, why? Why do many men believe they are superior to women just because they're men? How is complete and overall equality not a worldwide agreement in 2017?

But we can't think completely negatively - we have come a long way. We gained our right to vote, we can be in the military, be politicians, leaders, and much more. There is just still so much to be done. Elaine Welteroth said in Teen Vogue's article "Hillary Clinton Guest Edits Teen Vogue Volume IV," "Hillary Clinton may not have broken the tallest glass ceiling in America - but one of you [girls] will. And you will be standing on the shoulders of women leaders like HRC whose story unlocks universal lessons in determination, survival, and resilience." Women will change the world. We already are and have been since the beginning of time!

I proudly proclaim myself as a feminist, which has caused some people at school to bash me for it and argue with me. I don’t get offended though, I just do what I can to educate them and hopefully open their eyes. People don’t always recognize their privilege. I sometimes need to step back and realize that I should be grateful for so many rights and things I often take for granted. Just because something doesn’t affect you personally, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. That’s a downside to living in a small town - the majority is privileged, white people who are very conservative. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it just feels as if some of the small town’s population is blind to what’s actually going on in our world.

*Written on June 30, 2019*

As I reflect on this drafted post from nearly two years ago, I realize I have learned so much more about privilege, equality, feminism, and oppression. When a guy I went to elementary school with told my friend, "Yeah, she's super hot, but I could never date a feminist," I wasn't hurt. I wasn't embarrassed or ashamed for being a feminist. I was humored. Why, in turn, would I want to date someone who thought feminism was such a terrible attribute that it made them "undateable"? I laughed when I was told this. My friend thought I would be offended. I'm not offended for myself or my ego, but for his. It still boggles my mind that people have no idea what being a feminist really is. IN 2019!

However, educating those who have no intent on opening their mind to this idea of equality and love is a waste of time. You have to be cautious on who you're dealing with when getting in debates or discussions revolving around feminism. Men who are ignorant to considering gender equality is exactly why we need feminism - but trying to get them to conform to our beliefs isn't going to do any good (sadly). People have to be open-minded to growing and educating themselves for anything to actually get through. If they're closed off and negative about it, it's not going to do anything. Still, I believe it's important to share your knowledge and your voice. Speak up, stand out, make a positive change. Let people decipher it how they want. But trying to change someone's mind one on one, when they're not putting in any effort to change, will do no good. It's a complicated process and can leave you feeling defeated. Just know that, for those who do consider themselves feminists, there are so many uplifting, powerful, outspoken people out there that are by your side. They will help you to rise, and do so beautifully.

When I first heard about feminism, the world opened up to me. What I felt so strongly about what finally put into words and made sense. I grew up changing the Bible verses I had to recite for my Christian school's memory work from all "men" to "women" or "them." I grew up standing up for myself when a boy would tell me I "threw like a girl," to asking, "And why is that a bad thing?" I grew up saying, "I'm going to grow up and be successful on my own!" when my mom told me I'd have to "marry a rich man" while six year old me recited all of the things I wanted to buy. (Side note: My mom is also a strong feminist. Immediately after she told me I'd have to marry a rich man, she realized how dumb she sounded and was so proud of my response.) The moment I learned what a feminist was, I started calling myself one - no doubt about it. Ellen Page once said, "I don't know why people are so reluctant to say they're feminists. Maybe some women just don't care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word?" Once people realize that just because "feminine" is the root of the word and doesn't mean that we're making it all about women, the world could open up for them. I've encountered so many that prefer to call themselves "equalists," but neglecting to use the correct word - feminists - is another example of exactly why we need feminism.

Now, I know this blog post is different than what I usually write about, but I believe it's what my website needs. I feel so strongly about women's rights, gay rights, human rights, and current events in our society that I should use my voice and speak up about what I believe in. Intermingled through the fashion, beauty, and coffee articles will be more serious discussions about what I feel should be shared here on tyrahdae.com.

I could discuss the topic of feminism for ages, but I don't think you'd want to scroll through this blog post that much longer. I do advise you to do some research though! Go on good ol' Google.com and ask questions you'd like to know or powerful people whose words and actions can inspire you. I've gone down the rabbit hole of article after article on feminism and I learned so much that I never would have otherwise. If you read this entire blog post, thank you. If you have any questions at all, I'd love to chat over Instagram DMs or by email (head over to my contact page to get started). I hope to hear from you soon!

x, Tyrah


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Tyrah Dae is an aspiring fashion journalist and author. Follow her journey here at www.tyrahdae.com.