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The Patriot

Coup de Grace: Feminism doesn’t mean extremism

Assignment Chief Grace Mottley attempts to end deteriorating institutions and ideas of our society through a Coup de Grâce, a “decisive blow or finishing act,” as she questions the culture we live in. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, so what better way to change society than writing about it.

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I shouldn’t have to write this. I shouldn’t have to defend myself every time I tell someone that I support gender equality. I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to explain why I, a seemingly sane girl, would support a movement deemed as radical, dangerous, and insane as feminism.

You may think that I’m exaggerating, that I’m over-embellishing my experiences to be dramatic, and I wish I was. Unfortunately for the other feminists out there, and for our society, I’m not.

When I tell people I’m a feminist, they act like I’m an extremist. Oftentimes, people will treat me like a feral animal that’s ready to attack them or others for simply being born male, or they’ll ask me absurd questions such as “Why do you hate men?” or “Do you really think women are better than men?” My personal favorite was, “You have the right to vote, what else do you want?”

I am a feminist, but I don’t believe I’m better than any man. That’s not the belief behind feminism.

Feminism, plain and simple, is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” If you disagree with the definition, go argue with Merriam-Webster.

This doesn’t mean that I hate men and I want to be treated better than them or that I want to undermine the way society is run. I don’t want to corrupt your children or turn the world into a sexually-compromised bed of sin.

There are some extreme feminists out there, and I’m not going to deny that. There are women that walk around shirtless in New York City to try and prove a point or those that believe that men aren’t entitled to opinions on some women’s issues. However, these are extreme cases and should not define the belief of gender equality.

There are extremists in every belief system: Christianity has the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Movement had Malcom X, the pro-life movement has abortion clinic bombers, so on and so forth.

We don’t define the Civil Rights Movement by Malcom X or the pro-life movement by those who bomb abortion clinics. So why do we define feminism by the few extremists?

Is it because it’s easier to dismiss making social change if we think it’s too extreme? Is it because we don’t truly believe in the equality of the genders? Or is it because we simply misunderstand the reality of the situation?

I hope it’s the last option.

Feminism doesn’t equal extremism. We merely support the equality of the sexes. Feminists want equal health benefits for equal cost, equal pay for an equal day’s work, and to be treated as valuable members of society, just like men.

We don’t want to suppress men’s rights or have society treat women better than men. We just want to be treated as equals and given equal opportunities.

If you don’t support gender equality, that’s your prerogative. This is America, and you’re entitled to your opinion. But if you believe that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities, then guess what? Congratulations, you’re a feminist.

Grace Mottley is the Assignment Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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Coup de Grace: Feminism doesn’t mean extremism