Footsteps Through Feminism


Working women illustration
(Laurie Harker/MCT)

By Ruaa Labanieh
Staff Writer
One of the most argued and rising subjects buzzing around is feminism. Feminism is the idea of establishing and defending equal political, social, cultural and economic rights for women and erasing the line of inequality between both genders. Believers of this ideology call themselves feminists. Some of the causes that feminists fight for include the right to dress without restrictions, lack of discrimination in the workforce and in some places around the world, the right for education. Feminists, followers of this ideal, examine women’s social and domestic roles as well as the reasoning behind patriarchy throughout the ages and aim for change.
Examples of change are celebrities and well-known companies who take a stand against the imbalance between men and women. Emma Watson, actress and Goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, struck home with feminists in her latest speech in which she launched the campaign #HeforShe. Watson’s speech asserted that feminism is simply a fight for rights and not a synonym for “man-hating.” She then called for men to join her and also for other women to advocate for change. Watson received strong and aggressive backlash especially from a certain group on “4chan,” a website set up as bulletin where anyone can post pictures or texts.
The popular high-fashion brand Chanel also joined the fight by staging a protest in which women, wearing Chanel’s 2015 spring line, marched down the street calling for women’s right to dress the way they want and according to their own sense of style. Gigi Hadid, a model for Chanel, told Vogue magazine, “The crew [at Chanel] said, ‘Yes, it’s a fake protest, but you need to go into this realizing that you’re on the world stage. Everyone talks about the Chanel show, everyone is going to see it and we’re really setting a protest for you guys.’”
Another famous feminist is Malala Yousafzai, a woman who stood alone against the Taliban in 2012, insisting she should receive her right for education. Minutes after, she was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban. Despite this severe injury, Malala survived and continues giving lectures on the importance of education.
Here at University High School, there are many perspectives on feminism, both positive and negative. “When I hear the word ‘feminism,’ the first thought that comes to mind is equality. Unfortunately, some people have the misconception that feminism is aimed towards female superiority, and is therefore harmful to men, when in reality the goal of feminism is to end patriarchy [male superiority] and benefits both men and women, making it a movement for everyone,” said Nikki Jazayeri (Fr.).
Aneesah Akbar (So.) agreed and said, “I believe women are fighting for simple rights such as equal payment in jobs, acceptance in all fields of work that men are accepted in, rights over their own bodies and most importantly, not being viewed as the weaker sex anymore. We deserve these rights because we are not inferior to men in any way, and shouldn’t be expected to be.”