Feminism: Happily Ever After?

Have No Fear, Equality is Almost Here! It should not come as a surprise that feminism is not exactly a “hot topic” of conversation for young women such as myself in this day and age. In fact, I have always considered the phrase, “feminist”, to be a negative connotation; at least I did before I took this class. Is this because I did not know what it meant to be a feminist? Or is it because every time I was exposed to the topic in the past, it was always pertaining to a group of radicals that would come across as overly assertive and aggressive in their efforts?

If a majority of young women grew up with a similar experience to mine, how could we not be afraid of becoming a feminist? In the article, “Fear of Feminism: Why Young Women Get the Willies,” Lisa Marie Hoagland attempts to bring to light multiple reasons why such a large number of young women may view feminism as a social stigma, rather than a blessing for all women. Hoagland took the words right out of my mouth when she said, “My young women students often interpret critiques of marriage?a staple of feminist analysis for centuries?as evidence of their authors’ dysfunctional families” (Hoagland 655).

Hire a custom writer who has experience.
It's time for you to submit amazing papers!

order now

Why is it that when we read works by feminists we ask ourselves, “What happened to this woman that made her so bitter,” rather than “Is this really an issue, and if so, how can we work together to change it? ” The works and efforts of these women is the sole reason why we were able to grow up without experiencing the inequalities and oppressions that generations of women faced before us. I understand that I am essentially “reaping the benefits” of these women’s hard work, and I suspect that I am not the only young woman who feels the same way.

If we recognize and appreciate al of the opportunities these women have collectively given us through their years of hard work?such as voting rights, sexual harassment and equal pay laws, equal opportunities for education and Jobs?how can we still view feminists as pointless and annoying? Lisa Hoagland recognizes that young women are not ungrateful for all of their efforts, but rather we are scared of Joining the feminist movement in fears of changing how we would view our outlook on life, and also, how people would view us. A particular example that Hoagland brought to light was homophobia.

She states, Allying across differences is difficult work, and is often thwarted by homophobia?by fears both of lesbians and of being named a lesbian by association” (Hoagland 656). She goes on to describe that young women are given such a small range for exploration and discovery when growing up in society that we become unaware of all of the alternative pathways that are available for us in our futures. We believe that to achieve success and happiness in our lives meaner to grow up, find the “perfect catch,” marry him, have kids, and live happily ever after.

How can we accomplish this aspiration in life and live happily ever after if our “perfect catches” think we are lesbians simply because we are feminists? This sounds like a ridiculous notion, but how ridiculous can it be if so many young women fear this? Hoagland explains how young women fear the consequences that may come with being a young female feminist, whether that be the fear of turning away guys, or the fear of realizing that other alternatives exist other than the ATA lee marriage.

Damn you Disney princesses, Leonardo Didactic, and Nicholas Sparks for brainwashing us into believing that our only chance for happiness is to find a passionate, lustful romance! However, Hoagland is not telling young women to abandon that goal, but rather encouraging and advising us to recognize this issue and to keep in mind all of the pathways that are available to us, instead of solely focusing on relationships. There is no ultimatum of either become a feminist and be alone, or avoid Joining the feminist movement and find your prince charming.

Attention ladies, we can have both?mind blowing, isn’t it? Hoagland also brings another fear of becoming a feminist to light, the fear of experiencing what she calls a “click” moment: the moment when our outlook on the world changes and all of these prominent issues re directly in front of us, issues too big to ignore. She uses men’s violence towards women as an example. Unless we have personally experienced men’s violence for ourselves, or know someone who has, how can we relate to this issue, and more importantly, why would we want to?

The moment we empathic with these women and recognize that we can fall victim to men’s violence at any time is the moment when we must face the hard truth: the truth that equality has not yet been accomplished. The fear of falling victim to issues such as men’s violence holds women back on a daily basis, whether it keeps them from owning their own house, or room walking around campus alone at night in fear of their own safety. Thirdly, fighting for what you believe in can be a long and ruthless struggle, especially for an issue as significant as equality.

You would be naive to believe that Joining the feminist movement would be smooth sailing. A feminist must roll with the punches and not let obstacles throw them off track or cause them to lose sight of what they are fighting for. Hoagland explains, “Women fear taking a public stand, entering public discourse, demanding?and perhaps getting?attention. And for what? To be called a feminine? To be denounced as traitors to women’s “essential nature? ” (Hoagland 657).

She describes how a lot of women hide from feminism and keeps quiet in order to stay in the “safe zone,” free from the Judgment and ridicule from their peers and society that are inevitable to avoid if you were to Join the fight for equality. Lastly, and most importantly, Hoagland highlights that “feminism is work” (Hoagland 657). After all, how can you fight for something that you do not fully understand? It is not Just about reading and listening to other feminists. Being a feminist is not as simple as calling yourself a feminist.

You must work for it and take your mind places they have never been before, which is asking a lot from young women today. A lot of people in the U. S shy away from hard work and fear becoming involved in something as time demanding and ruthless as the feminism movement. Not only must you be knowledgeable on the subject of feminism and change the way you view the world, but also you must become an activist and do something about it. Simply being aware and knowledgeable of an issue does not solve it?in fact, it is Just the beginning?the hardest part is the fight and raising awareness of the issue, cause only then can it be resolved.

Most people, especially younger women who are in the prime of their lives, find that much responsibility and accountability can be terrifying. Hoagland goes on to explain that in order for you to make a change, you must understand the differences amongst people. It does not consist of solely understanding now inequality holds you in particular back, but understanding now inequality affects different races, cultures, and women all over the world. Simply put, “The differences between women, as Audrey Lorded pointed out over and over again, re our most precious resources in thinking and acting toward change” (Hoagland 658).

Once we understand these differences, we must not be afraid of realizing our own ranking and role in the big picture. We may learn to find that we have taken part in causing another woman’s oppression, but we cannot let this fear hinder us from Joining the fight. After reading “Fear of Feminism: Why Young Women Get the Willies,” I feel as if I am truly beginning to understand what it meaner to be a feminist, which is why this article stood out to me. I personally never felt held back before, or t least I never realized the feeling.

I was one of the young women who felt that equality had been achieved, and that third wave of feminism was a waste of time. In fact, we still have a long way to go. Issues such as sexual harassment, violence against women, and inequality in the workplace remain very much prevalent in today’s society. It is crucial that the young women of today’s society realize this ugly truth and Join the fight. If younger generations refuse to fight, equality for woman will never be reached, and only then we would truly have something to fear.