This Generation Raises Feminists


Deana Trautz, Reporter

Feminism: one of those words you’ve probably heard a few times this year. But what is it, really?

Some think of a bossy woman who goes through life preaching hate against men, but that’s why I’m here. If you are confused by the term, you are most definitely not alone. According to the US dictionary, there was a 70% increase in searches for the word.

Here is its Merrium-Webster definition:

Feminism (noun)- the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

So no, there is no small print which includes ‘hate men’ as one of their obligations. It is quite simply equality for men and women. This means equal treatment and opportunity, like the definition says in politics, the economy and in society.

Though feminists generally hold the same political stance (women’s rights, pro-choice) certain things are not forced upon a feminist by any means. By this, I mean that if someone does not agree with abortion for religious or other purposes, they can still be a feminist. I want to make it clear that being a feminist does not make you preach the goodness of abortion. Instead, it preaches that women have their own choice in what they do with their bodies. You are allowed to not have an abortion, but it is no one’s right to restrict other women from making that decision for themselves.

These past few months especially have been revolutionary for women and feminists alike. With the rise in the #MeToo movement on Twitter, the shame that had been embedded in so many women was lifted. There was opportunity to come out about rape and misconduct in the workplace and in showbiz especially. Women have been in the culture that oppressed them from standing up and having a voice against their perpetrators, but right now is the time to take a stand.

This year’s Women’s March took place on the one year anniversary of Trump being sworn into office. Thousands of women and men joined first at the Austin City Hall for an impeachment rally and then marched down Congress to the capitol, where they congregated for speeches.

Adult women are not the only ones marching, but their children as well. The most powerful part of the day was seeing the amount of daughters under age 10, holding their signs with little kid writing that read something like “Bad Trump.”

I’m not sure we always realize it, but daughters are of great importance. They are the ones who will be faced with the choice of saying no, or demanding equal pay from an employer. They are the ones that will put what is preached at these marches to use.

It is easy to put girls on the planet, but raising them to believe in themselves and their rights is another ballgame. This doesn’t mean it is difficult, but judging on how passive many girls are these days, I see it as a priority to be raising our daughters to value themselves.

The girls that march may not understand what it means when they speak about abortion or rape- many topics that they aren’t completely familiar with. However, I saw little girls with homemade signs smile ear to ear when Wendy Davis shouted that there will be no more silence. These girls may not be learning the ins and outs of the government system, but they see women like them- their mothers- standing high and proud and shouting their opinions with the crowd.

They look around gazing into the crowd, amazed. A look on their face that tells me, “I want to be like them.”

We have to realize that change does not happen until we change something. It is vital that people not only understand what feminists are, but be aware that by raising feminists, no matter the gender, we are raising the future.

So if I ask you if you’re a feminist, you better not make a face.