Change is coming, even if you’re tired of it

Shae Slaughter

In the past six months, our country has undergone a slew of changes. Some have been good, some have been bad and some are kind of just a moot point. One of these changes is a general increase in empowerment among minorities, specifically women, but to get to that point they have also had to deal with major setbacks.

What’s important about these bumps in the road isn’t their existence, but rather people’s reaction to them. Streets have quite literally been flooded with all of the people who are in support of these issues during the marches that have started for women. Not everyone sees this as a positive though. Often I see social media posts or hear people saying ‘I’m so tired of feminists.’ Every time I hear this phrase I get even more annoyed than I do when I try to understand chemistry.

Y’all know what feminism is right? If you do and you’re still sick of it, you’re the problem, the feminists are not. Feminism by definition is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. How dare us, right? That being said, I can understand being annoyed by certain demonstrations of feminism or by women who hate men, but that stereotypical bra burning ideal doesn’t apply to feminism as a whole.

The women and men marching as self-identified feminists have so many goals; they aren’t merely looking for attention. They want equal pay, equal opportunity and equal representation in politics among other things. The only reason that people are tired of feminism is because feminists will not be silenced, they still have issues left to fight for. Looking back on the United States history, people were tired of Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights too. He caused a stir, wanted a change and it wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.

So tell me, those of you who are tired of feminists, just what annoys you so much? Is it their voice, their strength? If you’re a man, I’m not surprised feminism challenges the patriarchy, something that is debatably tried and true. If you’re a woman, well you should thank prior feminists for the ability to voice your opinion so easily, for the right to vote, for the right to employment and many other things. If you identify with another gender, you should support a rise to equality just the way other people support LGBTQ equality.

The other common argument I hear against feminism is that we already have equality so we don’t need to keep bringing up these issues. I appreciate that opinion but I believe it is incorrect and here’s why: the pay gap, sexual assault statistics, the glass ceiling, gender constructs and the list goes on. Women as a whole are pushed to deal with problems that are different than men. Phrases like ‘stay at home mom,’ ‘you hit like a girl’ and ‘best female athlete’ all have connotations that aren’t applied to men, a weaker and more sensitive connotation.

Women and men are not the same, I am not naive enough to believe that. We are anatomically, biologically and in some ways mentally different. These differences do not make women any less human or any less important than men in the same way that a darker skin tone doesn’t make you any less than a white one does.

That’s what feminism is for, a constant, echoing and loud reminder of what women deserve, what people deserve. So to those who are off put by this strength and annoyed by its presence, I cannot apologize because I am not sorry it exists. Change is coming, slowly but surely, one burning bra or one march at a time.