Goals of feminism from the 1900s to today have clearly transformed drastically.
Demanding women get the right to vote or work sounds much simpler than demanding to stop sexism in the workspace or stop society from sexualizing women’s bodies. It’s important to understand how the one word has so much power to change society, as well as scare off people who seem to misunderstand what it means. Some people who claim to be feminists forget what their goals should be and cause a misconception of feminism as whole. Here are a few priorities a feminist should probably have.

  1. Embrace Intersectionality

In an article published by The Guardian, June Eric Udorie discusses what she thinks the top seven priorities should be for young feminists today. She believes one priority should be to embrace intersectionality. Disregarding the fact that feminism has different connotations for women of different races is degrading the term. Feminism for an Indian girl growing up in India is different than feminism for an African-American girl in London. Women all over the world possess different identities that individualize them from others. Udorie believes that when advocating for feminism, it shouldn’t only be for white women or rich women, it should be a chance for all women to speak up.

  1. Stop Society From Sexualizing Women

From media to high schools women’s bodies are always sexualized. Magazines feature naked women to entice the readers into buying their product. Schools encourage and in some cases mandate girls to not wear shorts, spaghetti straps, or skirts. There have even been some cases where they are required to go home immediately if they break the “dress code.” Very few schools and magazines discourage pictures of women on pages or teach boys to not sexualize a fourteen year old’s body. Magazines today are increasing sexualization of images and a study conducted a few years ago showed that in approximately 2000 magazines, half displayed women as sex objects.

  1. Fight for Reproductive Rights

Definitely the one that causes the most controversy is the persisting debate over abortion. Movements like #ShoutYourAbortion are introduced via social networking sites such as Twitter to encourage women to do what they want with their body. Stacy Nelkin from Huffington Post sums it up for feminists, “Why is it that the right wing conservatives who are vehemently opposed to abortion call a fetus in the womb “sacred”, and yet they do nothing to ensure a good early start by helping legislate health care and paid maternity leave for new mothers (for example, as the Swedes do) and parental education for first time parents?And why is it that all those same conservatives who are trying to cause the demise of Planned Parenthood do nothing to protect the lives of children by calling for gun control in our country – but rather are focused on protecting fetuses??”

These are most definitely not the only priorities a feminist should have, but just a few important ones. And always remember, “You are either a feminist or you are a sexist/misogynist. There is no box marked ‘other.'” -Ani DiFranco

[Photo Credit: Mike Atherton]