Who Needs Feminism?


A recent meme has swept the feminist blogosphere – “Who Needs Feminism?” It’s a user-submitted Tumblr-blog of comments and stories about why people feel they need feminism. There’s a quite popular counter argument that says feminism is unnecessary, that women already have all the rights they need and then some, and that feminists are just whining. Inspired by this meme, I decided to make my own list. You can feel free to add to it in the comments.

I need feminism because…

…when I told a friend (the son of a pastor) that I wanted to be a theology major in college and maybe a pastor one day, he quoted the Bible at me and told me I couldn’t do it.

…when I took algebra in high school, I would bring my notes home and explain some of the concepts to my mom, because she never learned it. She was told it was a man’s subject that she didn’t need.

...when I was younger and my dad wanted to teach me how to use the grill, he sold it to me as “Don’t you want to be able to make your husband a steak someday?” I hate steak.

…I was told growing up that I had to dress modestly to keep my brothers from lusting, but never had my own sexuality treated in a way that was a affirming or accepted. I was simply told to keep my legs shut.

…teenage boys feel that they can comment on my body and make me feel unsafe in my own town.

…I know women who have been roofied. I know women who have been raped by friends, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, husbands, and brothers. And only a small handful of those women have ever gotten justice for these crimes. One was raped at nine years old, only to have her mother yell at her for destroying her purity.

…on my own blog, I have been told to “lighten up, dumb bitch,” and “fuck off, cunt.”

…in college, when I wanted to go for a walk after dark, I had to bring a guy friend with me to make sure I stayed safe.

…women are the majority of people in poverty today, and we only own 10% of the world’s property.

…being 5’8” and 135 pounds, I am considered “fat” by fashion industry standards.

…being 5’8” and 135 pounds, I am disappointed in myself that my weight went up five pounds in the past few months – not because I feel unhealthy, but because I am no longer a single digit size, and that makes me feel unattractive.

…when I go out on a date, I bring mace, meet in a public place, and refuse to go to a second location without informing a friend first. Because I know that if I don’t take these precautions and do get assaulted, the police will ask me why I didn’t do more.

…Congress seems to think that my birth control is a matter of public discussion, rather than a private conversation with me and my doctor.

…my guy friends feel like they can’t do certain activities or have hobbies that they like (like lace-making [tatting], or writing poetry) because people will make fun of them for not being “manly” enough.

…a friend of mine was just told not to “be a victim” because she dared speak out about her abuse (actually happened as I was writing this post).

…this same friend was also told “language, my dear,” when she swore in reply.

…we live in a world where churches make rape victims apologize to the congregation for “being in a compromising situation.”

…it is expected, because I am a woman, that I will have kids, and when I tell people I don’t want to, they tell I’ll change my mind. Apparently, 26 years old isn’t old enough for me to know that I never want to be pregnant, but 18 is old enough to have a kid.

…I have been told that I am destroying society simply because – should I ever marry – I plan to keep my own name.

I’m sure you commenters have things to add. Why do YOU need feminism?