Feminism in America by: Sherilyn Drexler

        Feminism. What comes to mind? For Americans, probably women’s marches, social media campaigns, and social or political activist speakers. Probably some controversy, based on debate over recent causes that have come to the forefront of the movement. Often, the true meaning of movements in America can become clouded by media sensationalism and social media hype. In its most basic form, feminism is really much simpler than one would think. Mady Nutter, PR and Marketing Representative of StrongHer, a feminist club at Seton High School, describes feminism as, “the economic, social, and political equality of the sexes”. And while that is the most basic meaning, in America, feminism reaches much farther than just that, and has been running deep for women since early American society.
While in the last few years the term feminism and the wave of feminists have taken the forefront, feminism has been central to America for many, many years. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was about simply giving women a voice to those who didn’t have one. Movements arose to fight for basic rights; such as the ability to vote; the ability to receive the same education as a man; and for women to be able to hold employment positions that were previously only allowed for men. Now, it has become about using that voice to fight for inequality- especially ones that have become normalized in our culture. Beth Lauber, an English teacher at Seton High School, says that “In the beginning – late 1800s women just wanted to have a voice.  Now that we have a voice, it’s about using the voice to create a better, more equal, society for women around the world.” That couldn’t be more true for American women today, and social issues such as wage inequality and sexual assault have taken the forefront as issues in the western culture today.
One of the biggest examples of feminism in motion today is within the women’s march; a coordinated rally practiced throughout the nation, in hundreds of cities, attracting hundreds of thousands of participants, all protesting for a wide range of women’s issues. Speakers across all platforms came to speak on a wide range of issues: from the entertainment industry to government officials to leaders of social activism. The underlying message of the effort fights for inclusivity, possibility, and now more than ever, giving women of the next generation a world where they will be heard, respected, and have the freedom to brave their own paths without barriers.

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