I will tell you why feminism is still relevant and necessary in 2014.
- Because I would love to go on solitary bike rides or walks, but my parents insist I take my brother along for fear of what might happen to me.
- Because, without my boyfriend there, the creepy guy at the bus stop might’ve done more than just talk to me.
- Because one of the first things my parents packed me with when I left for college my freshman year was a rape whistle.
- Because one out of six American women has been stalked at some point during her lifetime.
- Because old men at my church have a free pass to demand that I smile at them, make inappropriate and flirtatious remarks, and casually touch me in the name of being friendly, and my own mother has chided, “oh, he’s harmless,” so if I respond negatively, I’m the bad guy.
- Because I either get harassed or incessantly hit-on by guys in online games when they learn that I’m a woman.
- Because women in the workforce earn 23% less than men – or 77 cents for every dollar.
- Because when I brought up the fact to my ex that he benefits from male privilege, while it’s much harder to be a woman in society, his reaction was “So be a man, they have the technology.”
- Because too many guys I’ve dated have seen me as a pleasure object instead of a person.
- Because one out of six American women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
- Because people like Elliot Rodger exist.
- Because people legitimately sympathize with his story – or use it as a threat.
And because, as Helen Lewis so aptly put it, “the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.” People who genuinely argue that gender inequality is no longer an issue, that women just need to sit down and shut up, or that feminists are nothing more than whiny unshaven man-haters are part of the problem.