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Op-ed: New Age Feminism

As much as we like to associate Rosie the Riveter with the beginning of the feminist movement, the struggle for “Women’s Rights” had been going on many decades before Rosie the Riveter was even a thought. It began simply as a push to change the social ideologies regarding women and their role in society. One of the main issues facing women were, the right to work any job they chose with equal pay as a man, the right to vote, an end to women’s suffrage, and the right to be seen socially and politically on equal par with men–instead of a third-class citizen. Voting came along later when democracy and bipartisanship became the standard by which Americans governed their land. And it wasn’t until the 70s where women wanted to take it a step further and started taking off their bras and burning them in protest for sexual liberation. These “waves” of the feminist movement, in my opinion, reveal one important thing: as time changes, so do social norms and the respective attitudes towards those norms.

Social norms evolve over time and they dictate to the social sphere what we deem to be acceptable or not.Here’s the problem with that. With a constantly shifting ideology like feminism, how can it retain its truth? In other words, how can we, as millennial feminists, look at this movement and gauge what is the end result of women’s liberation; where we can say “That’s it, it’s finally over. Women are equal in every sense of the word to men. The end.” The most popular answer to this would probably be something along the lines of, “Feminism is relative to the woman, this is why it will never end. Women need to stick together for what we deserve, regardless of the ideology. Feminism is more than just a movement, it’s a bond between women.” But this isn’t the correct answer, simply because it is not a true answer at all. It’s an opinion. The fact of the matter is, the end of feminism will never come because it is no longer grounded in truth. Way back during its inception, it was about our God-given rights as human beings. However, now, we have a culmination of all the things that women think are solely reserved for men, including overt sexuality, and the desire to possess these freedoms without being judged. But there’s another issue…who said that those things were reserved for anybody?

What’s the point in all this hype over female empowerment when society has yet to come up with a solid definition of a woman’s true role? You must have truth before you can correct something that you claim to be false, right? Otherwise you find yourself in a vicious circle of absurdity trying to get to the truth without defining it first. However, this is the agenda. Many women look to society to help them understand their role regarding social issues, but society isn’t helping at all. Most of the reform issues have all been granted to us women throughout history, however the ideology has never found a basis in truth. Why is that? Why do we have such a diverse picture of women empowerment in the media that, on one hand, shows the real feminist as a nerdy intellectual, and on the other hand, shows her as a hypersexualized man-eater who is (so-called) in charge of her body? This becomes confusing. Which side do we take? Which is the right side? They can’t both be right. You can’t have a fully-clothed virginal feminist and a scantily clad sex-vixen feminist who both say that they are empowering women. Or can you?

I will not be duped into buying the lie that society has spouted over and over again about what women should do to gain more power. I don’t need a celebrity to emulate in hopes of attracting whatever it is that I hope to get out of life. My worth as a human being will never be reduced to any label that society places on me. It’s a never-ending struggle for feminism, but it’s also a useless one that in the end, will amount to nothing if we do not let go of the vain aspects of modern feminism and hold on to the deeper ideals of womanhood and morality.

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