Furthering Contemporary Egalitarianism

Are we truly as progressive as we say we are?

Annie Shafran, Editor-in-Chief

In a Laura Snapes’ article, published in 2015, she described indepthly the process she experienced in interviewing musician Mark Kozelek. She explained how, “He can use sexually violent language to reduce female critics to the status of groupies, knowing that while male musicians’ misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of ‘difficult’ artists, women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don’t understand art.” That quote is from. Through the article, Snapes references derogatory terms Kozelek threw at her, and the hyper-sexualizing treatment she received. The interview began with Mark Kozelek emailing Snapes, saying, “You think you’re the only person who wants to get a face-to-face interview with me? Get in line. I’m the best person you never met and one day, if you ever meet me, you’ll probably want to have my baby.” This quote perfectly captures the tone for the rest of the interview. This article draws attention to the increasingly popular problem plaguing our world today: Male misogyny. 

Women represent over half of the population, yet they are still frequently degraded and put down. Regardless of whether someone was born female or not, those who identify as female are still fighting for equality in the twenty-first century. While that is in part due to the precedent set throughout history regarding women’s capabilities, a majority of the issue lies within excusing misogynistic behavior. 97% of women between the ages of 18 and 24 have experienced sexual harassment (Mashable). That number is astoundingly high and it is shameful that in our society, most young women have experienced some form of sexual harassment.

Throughout the past year, we have relied heavily on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Women Represent Close to 70% of the Global Healthcare Workforce.” (Catalyst.org). Throughout the pandemic, people have been celebrating and thanking health care workers. They have been some of the most astonishing, hardworking, and devoted people this past year. The force of healthcare workers in the United States is composed of 19.7 million people, 13.8 million of them being women. We relied on these people so heavily, and they have helped us in our time of need. Yet, we have not reciprocated the aid. Statistically speaking, 1 out of every 5 women experience sexual assault at some point in their lifetime; meaning, that 2.76 million women who are working in the healthcare department, have experienced some form of sexual assault. 

We as a collective group have stood by and drowned out the voices of those who need to be heard. Women should be able to walk alone and not fear what might come. Women should not have to conform themselves through fear to feel safe. People need to be held accountable for their actions and the only way to do that is by letting those who need a platform, feel safe to speak up. Gender should not impact the way that someone is treated. One’s following ideology and gender identity have nothing to do with one another. Feminism is not something that is bound by gender, or race, or sexuality, or anything that cannot be used as a judgment of one’s character.

Women should be highlighted, and elaborated, just as much as any other gender is. For example, regardless of political beliefs, the election of Vice President Kamala Harris is an extraordinary advancement in United States history. Even if you do not agree with her political opinions, there is no denying that Harris’ election is a major step for the country. Being the first female vice president, and officially, the highest-ranking female official in United States history, Kamala Harris has greatly advanced the view of women in politics. Her election is helping dissolve the stigma around women in positions of power. However, it does not stop there. While Vice President Harris was the first-ever woman vice president, she is also the first biracial, African-American, and Asian-American vice president. The growing representation in American politics is truly overdue but is an amazing moment to experience firsthand.

It is still baffling to think that people in our day and age do not consider themselves part of the feminist movement. While there is still a stigma certainly around the term ‘feminism’ the only way these previously, and arbitrarily, set ideas can be diffused is through making the fight more public and more inclusive. Equality is not something that should be held by gatekeepers. Oftentimes, I see people of all genders getting their voice belittled, solely because they are not the ‘oppressed gender’. But feminism spans far beyond the advancement of female rights. It is simply the claim for all genders, male and female, transgender and non-binary, to be seen and treated equally. Anyone willing to fight for this cause should be welcomed. Just like male misogyny, toxic femininity is an equally strenuous beast to tackle. By excessively preaching for women’s rights, people can put down other genders, whether it is purposeful or not. For example, it should be made common knowledge that while women are the main victim of sexual abuse, men experience as well. 30% of bisexual and gay men have been said to experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime, (US Department of Justice). But this does not disparage the fact that 96 to 98%  of all sexual misconducts are caused by men. Nevertheless, anybody who is willing to help should be appreciated. The goal is not to put down other genders, but to raise them all to an equal playing field. The fight for women’s rights is not something that women should have to take on alone. There is no way gender equality can be achieved without support from varying genders. By diversifying the people who are involved, the fight will only grow stronger.