Controversial words in our time and age; Sexism and Feminism. For decades, women fought for equal pay and the right to vote. And while we’re living in an era where wonderful strides have been made towards gender equality, we’re still far away from it.
Since the ’90s, the feminist movement has been making an uproar in the media. Powerful women, celebrities and public figures all started to stand up and demand equality in all of its forms, whether it’s in the workplace, or just generally. In recent years, the feminist movement has grown stronger and bigger, with many women voicing their concerns and demanding equality, many men, and sometimes women as well, stood opposed to them, referring to them with negative slurs such as “Feminazi” and the sorts. And the word “feminist” started to change into something that glorifies women over men. As opposed to just wanting equality.
I took it upon myself to talk to some the students in our university, and pick up their thoughts on this matter. “How do you feel about sexism and the steps that were taking towards equality in recent times?” I asked May Elsayed, an Egyptian student in our university. “I’m not up for sexism at all, I think the steps being taken are actually quite productive with the help media and voices being heard by everyone”.
When asked about how feminists are being called feminazis and the growing negativity around the whole topic, May had this to say, “Well if you’re gonna fight for your rights, you’re gonna have people who label you with things that are meant to shame you. But if it’s in our favor and it’s making feminism stronger then let them call us whatever they like”.
I decided to talk to a man nearby, because I felt it crucial to have a male perspective on the matter, Anas Abdelwahed responded to the same former question I asked may by stating, “I don’t believe in genders, because of the social constructs that come along with them. I’d rather see the word as this person, and this person, rather than label them and impose duties and roles of society upon them based on what they were born as”.
Idriss Askour, a Moroccan student had some interesting insight to share, stating “Despite everything that we see on the internet and such, sexism is still very much a real thing that is happening. And no matter what it takes we should fight for equality because it’s a human right to be treated equally. It baffles me how sexism is still a thing in 2017”.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear such positive things to say about feminism if I’m honest. And I believe that having gender equality shouldn’t be a matter to fight for. It shouldn’t even be an issue. In a perfect Utopian parallel, women and men stand side by side with no segregation, no differences, and women wouldn’t have to be constantly shamed for being powerful or standing up for themselves. But until that happens, we’ll just have to keep fighting the good fight and try our best to let our voices be heard, because we never know who may be listening.