The Paradox of Contemporary Feminism

To me, feminism means many things. It means women having every right that men have, including equal pay for doing the same jobs as men with the same amount of effort. But for me, feminism also means valuing stay-at-home moms and housewives just as much as women who choose to balance a career and their home lives. Women can do anything they choose to, and different women make different choices and have different ideas about what makes them happy, and feminism should be about embracing the different roles women take on and valuing each one.

For me, feminism also means being valued for my personality, for my good character, for my ideas and goals, all things that couldn’t be further from contemporary society’s definition of “feminism.” Instead, feminism today seems to be focused on only one part of women: their bodies. When I turn on the TV, the only message I’m receiving rings loud and clear: women can do anything they want, but they have to look sexy while doing it. Sure, a woman can be a tough FBI field agent, but she’d better be wearing a low-cut top and high-heeled boots. So what if all the men around are only paying attention to her butt or her chest? It’s okay. Actually, it’s hilarious that they can’t control themselves! Isn’t it?

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to be gawked at like I’m nothing more than a piece of meat. Yes, I’m a woman, and I might be considered attractive, but that’s not all I want to be seen as. I want people to see my sense of humor, my creativity, whatever makes me me. I am so much more than the physical body I’m in, so why degrade myself by acting like I’m not?

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One Response to The Paradox of Contemporary Feminism

  1. Brittney A. McKinney says:

    Feminism is one of my favorite things to talk about! At the beginning of your post, I’d say you agree with the idea that feminism is about liberation because you say feminism is for everyone.

    When you talk about women on television dripping with sex, I’m not sure that’s as much a feminist question because everyone on television is sexy. I think FBI, T and A are inseparable on television because people are beginning to see women as possessing sexual plasticity. We’re noticing sexualized professionals on television more because offscreen women can hang sexy clothes in their closets and Master’s degrees in their offices if that’s what we want.

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