International Women's Day: Why We Still Need Feminism

International Women's Day is a time to appreciate both the women in our lives (who have undoubtedly shaped us into who we are now) and those who have had a significant impact on the world. Many people will question this day and ask why we still need to celebrate it when we look at how far we've come as a society over the past few years. And yes, our society has made significant progress with their attitudes towards women since times like the 1900s, when women were fighting for the right to vote, but that doesn't mean that we don't still need feminism today. Sexism and misogyny still exist in all shapes and forms and will continue unless we continue to fight against it so that we can make the world a more fair and equal place for the coming generations.

So, Why Do We Still Need Feminism?

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As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once said (and has been quoted in Beyoncé's song Flawless) a feminist is "a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes".

Some argue that because the title 'feminist' or 'feminism' is used, it's an unequal movement designed to empower women more than men and doesn't give any concern to men's rights. This debate is much the same as the Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter argument. Just because the title supports black lives, it does not mean that only black lives matter. It simply recognises that black people have suffered oppression for a number of years and the title brings recognition to this fact and fights to make them equal. This is exactly the same for feminism. There hasn't been a period in history (and if there has it was an extremely long time ago) where we haven't lived in a patriarchal society, therefore feminism is given its name because it fights to put women on the same level as men rather than being beneath them.

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"Grab them by the pussy" - A quote from Donald Trump, the president of the United States.

Men do not have the undisputed right to women and their bodies. Although sadly, many think that they do. The picture below shows the results of a poll conducted in a high school where both male
and female students were asked to vote on when they think rape is acceptable. 

The correct answer to all of these questions is no. Rape is never acceptable. It doesn't matter if he's bought her dinner, they're in a relationship, or they started but she changed her mind. There has never been a sufficient reason to warrant rape, nor will there ever be. 

Nobody has the right to touch anyone without first asking their permission and being given consent. Men don't have the right to get angry if a woman rejects them, regardless of whether it's a random woman on the street or someone they know well. A woman's body is her own and the choice belongs to her, no one else. Women are not property. They are human beings who have the right to choose. 

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An unbelievable amount of pressure is put on women to be perfect through the use of the media. From perfume to cars, women's bodies are used in order to sell products. In all forms of media, women's bodies are photoshopped into the 'perfect' body that (according to the media) we should aspire to have. The only problem with this is that it's fake. No woman will ever achieve the perfection seen on TV and in magazines, not even the models themselves, because the picture itself is not real. Women's bodies are reshaped into the idealistic body that men crave and women wish they could achieve. Because of this, a woman's value is based on their body and because these images are plastered everywhere you look, many young girls self-worth become based on these unrealistic body standards and they become.

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