Pictured above: Isabella Azzolino
I think the average human being can say they are a feminist. I believe that’s a safe claim to make. But the definition of feminism in recent years has become weaponized and twisted.” According to the dictionary, the definition of feminism is: The advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes.” Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? That’s where my generation, in particular, starts to twist it into something it isn’t. Specifically, women in Gen Z have used the name of feminism to attack women who don’t meet their definition of a “feminist” or a “good woman.”
Something I see quite a lot on social media in particular is that, if you don’t agree with a group of people, you get attacked. This obviously happens in person as well, but in this specific woman-based issue, they feel more secure on to launch these attacks via social media. This avoidance of face-to-face confrontation makes them feel more justified in their logic. According to many of these women, you can’t be a feminist if you:
- Are conservative
- Are Pro-life
- Want to be a stay-at-home mom
- Want to be wealthy
- Want to marry wealthy
- Want kids
- Don’t hate men
There’s many more, but these are the ones that stick out the most to me. In order to be a feminist in these young women’s eyes, you have to be completely self-sufficient, liberal, workaholic but poor, and not want kids. There are plenty of women out there who legitimately want these things and that is okay, don’t get me wrong. But there is also nothing wrong with wanting to be the stay-at-home mom of a nuclear family. The nuclear family ideology is being torn apart, but that is a topic for another article. The idea of a nuclear family is being villainized by the feminist agenda because being married to a man is seen as giving up your feminism. There’s a lot of hate towards men in feminism as well, which defeats the whole purpose of equality. Both genders have their bad apples, and many feminists forget that they have already labeled the bad apples in their minds. They want to love and support women unless they don’t fit their criteria. Whatever happened to the idea of loving everyone, despite their differences?
I do consider myself a feminist, but in America, feminism isn’t nearly as necessary as it was decades ago. Women can work any job they want. They are sometimes paid less, but that’s because, statistically, they take more time off. This isn’t true for every woman, but statistically, they do. According to the United States Department of Labor, “Compared to men, more women need leave from work for a family or medical reason; that is, for one’s own serious health condition, to care for a new child (by birth, adoption, or foster placement), or to care for another individual with a serious health condition (24 percent versus 17 percent, Exhibit 2).v” I will attach the link to this labor study at the end of the article. But, if you work less, you get paid less. It is illegal to discriminate based on gender, race, etc. I still believe to this day that the wage gap doesn’t exist. Every job I work at, I get paid the same as my male coworkers in the same position. Other factors to consider are seniority, extra skills, raises, and bonuses. If you work at a place for an extended amount of time, you get more money; this is a given. My father’s job is a great example of this. For security purposes, I won’t say where he works, but his job involves a variety of security clearances. If you have various clearances, you can work in different areas, therefore, adding to your resume. When you have more skills, you get paid more. If my father and a female co-worker have the same clearances, they will get paid the same. But my father has been there for many years; that being said, he received raises and bonuses that some other co-workers may not have received. He may have not received bonuses that people who have been there double his tenure as well.
Many of these women gatekeeping feminism don’t take all these things into account. I am sure that some do know about these things and still believe it isn’t fair and think everyone should be paid equally. In this country, we pay based on demand and skill. You wouldn’t pay a surgeon the same as a fast-food worker. Cutting open a human requires much more skill than putting together a burger. I am all for equality. I will say that over and over again, but there are some instances where equality doesn’t apply. There is also the fact that many women don’t have the desire to go into higher-paying fields such as computer science, engineering, and such. Fortunately, the first step we as a country have taken is offering STEM and STEAM classes in schools. These classes are often integrated or required in the school, so everyone, regardless of gender, can find out about these fields. Now, women have an opportunity to raise their skills and get into these fields. Some may argue that there is a lot of sexism in these male-dominated professions. This can be true, but these are isolated instances. If you possess the same skills as them, that can often speak for itself. You can’t be afraid of some men, threatened by a woman who can do the same job as them, just as well.
Gen Z likes to gatekeep things that they feel can give them power. Once they got the taste of feminism, they realized they could use that to push their agenda. But this generation has gotten so loud and so influential, they are destroying what feminism was really created for in the very beginning. Equality. Women are not equal, in the eyes of Gen Zers. If you don’t meet every one of their requirements, you cannot be a real feminist. All women are equal, regardless of race, political affiliation, age, and sexuality. You are not more of a woman if you are a lesbian, liberal, black woman than if you are a straight, conservative, black woman. Hating men will not give you any empowerment. Actual sexist men will only laugh at your hatred because you are giving back the same energy they give you. Hating the opposite sex only dismantles the definition of feminism. Hate does not make anyone equal; it only further polarizes us.
Labor document from the DOL mentioned in the article