How women have betrayed women

Auburn Drive High School
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

By Lori M. (Grade 12)

What is feminism? Do we still even need it in this day and age? Is it misinterpreted? Is it about an individual or a group? Does it search for common ground or does it support diversity? I guess it depends on who you ask, because unfortunately, there is no single term or correct definition of the word.

In general, feminism is defined as a woman's point of view on a certain issue. We accept that there are different schools of thought within Feminism, and they are not all of equal value. Most feminists tend to believe in social, legal and economic equality for both men and women. There are some women who believe that all women are victims of male patriarchal oppression, and oppose all things "male", including "male" science and rationality. However, I feel that this is almost a non-issue anymore, simply because most women have the same chance as men in this world.

There is, however, one thing I feel women must overcome in order to keep on progressing the way we have been, and this is the way we, as women, treat each other. It seems that the young women today have forgotten the Feminism and struggles of such women as Mary Wollstonecraft, Dr. Emily Howard-Stowe, Margaret Anderson, Gloria Steinem, Naomi Wolf, Betty Friedan, Kate Millett and Nellie McClung, or is it simply the fact that most young girls have never heard of them.

Women seem to have lost their respect for each other, and respect for themselves somewhat. Picture four or five high school girls standing around talking, when another girl walks by who may be a little larger. Chances are, someone will say something to, or about her. Most of the things I hear said around girls in school seem harmless such as, "Will you look at her hair", "What a beast", "Okay no, you just don't wear that", or "She is such a bitch". Now, even I will admit to saying things like this, but what's the harm if I don't say them to her face? The harm is saying them at all. Who cares if someone is not wearing an outfit you like, everyone is different.

Women are trying to live up to an ideal that no one can attain, so who set these standards; men or women? I believe both are to blame almost equally. Some women seem to feel empowered by belittling others. It's these people who are insecure themselves. But in our society, who can't help but feel insecure when we are being bombarded with unattainable computer altered pictures of so-called perfect people, who for the most part feel bad about themselves anyway because most are either anorexic or on heroin?

The women's rights (Feminism) movement was a lot simpler when all they had to fight for was political, social and economic equality for women. Among these rights were control of property, equality of operation in education and employment, suffrage, and sexual freedom. They (women) were fighting together for a common goal, unlike today where we seem to be against one another.

Women need to put away all their jealousies, biases, insecurities and work together to improve life for future generations. I know I don't want to live in a world where woman-on-woman crimes, plastic surgery, and anorexia are the norm.

But how can we stop what is happening to us? These are not problems that can be solved in the legal area like the Feminists of the early 1900's did. Unfortunately, I don't have the answers, although I wish I did. Maybe next time you see a young woman who is different in her own way, just respect her for who she is, because no one is perfect.

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