By: Meredith Erikson
Why do some people make feminism so complicated? Is it because they don’t understand the inequality and injustice that women and even men face every day? Model Cameron Russell proves that expectations and beauty standards for men and women are socially constructed. During her Ted Talk, she does so by admitting that even though she was fortunate to come from the ultimate gene pool and to have the success from being one of the most beautiful women in the world, she still has feelings of insecurity, guilt, and unhappiness. She shows just how quickly our perception of her can change through a 10 second outfit change. I’ll admit that I even fell for it too, I was shocked to think she’d give a speech in a tight dress and heels, but her outfit has nothing to do with her character. I believe that if we stop teaching young boys and girls what they should look like or what they should do with their lives, they’ll grow up to be happier. Society has formed gender roles for men and women, when in actuality, biology is the only thing that separates the two.
It frustrates me almost more than anything that there are people, even women, who oppose to being a feminist. Its message is too simple: to have social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. Feminists advocate their rights because they face oppression, not because they believe all men should be inferior to them. It’s not just women that experience backlash for not adhering to roles that women are “supposed” to follow. Those who don’t support feminism tend to forget that men who do not uphold some level of masculinity are seen as outcasts too. Men and women can do and be whatever they want. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who I believe is an advocate for equality, asks why we teach girls and boys separate things. Why is it the girl’s job to learn to cook? Why do we tell women to hold back on their ambitions? Why do we teach women to not be as sexual as men? This separation of roles for men and women enhances the divide between males and females in society, not just in America but all over the world. It’s not so hard to understand why we should all be feminists.