Not too long ago, Mark Ruffalo wrote a letter in response to women who were posting photos of themselves on social media while holding signs displaying their personal view on feminism. When I found out that these women, and in some cases, young girls, were broadcasting to the world that they believed the feminist movements of the past had no effect on them, I was completely shocked.
It's people like this, people that don't take the time to understand exactly what impact they have when they make such flippant comments, that have tainted a word that has meant so much to so many for so long.
Most importantly, both of my parents told me I could be anything I wanted to be.
I am from the generation that has been told this their whole life. I can attend any schools I wish. I can apply for any job I desire. I can be anything I want to be because of the broken ground of the past, and my parent's encouragement for me to succeed.
Unfortunately, it is people of my generation that believe feminism has had no impact on their life whatsoever, but perhaps we have forgotten, that to some, feminism is just a word. This disconnection of the newer generations spurs from the fact we were always told we could be whoever we wanted to be. There were no girls activities and boys activities. Wood shop, Cooking, Art, Mechanics. All of these subjects are open to any student, so it's not hard to believe that people could completely remove themselves from feeling any sort of connection to the people who fought for women's rights in the past.
To summarise, this 'feminist' believed it was perfectly acceptable to call the opposite sex irrelevant and unnecessary while labeling herself with the very name of women who fought not to be considered unnecessary and irrelevant.
Interestingly enough, she voiced this statement, sitting in the seat beside her significant other who just happened to be of the opposite sex and the father of her boys. So her statement, in that moment, made them obsolete. Of course, she claimed she wasn't referring to the males in the room, or her children or father or brother when challenged, but her statement was such a generalised opinion, it's not hard to understand why feminism has become tainted. What has the world come to if a mother believes that a gender, the same gender as her children, isn't important?
What about the future children of the world? Are we to tell the boys of tomorrow that they are not to hope to achieve anything in their lifetime because they are not worth anything? Is this not, exactly what women - and men - fought for when feminism was born? When did we forget that feminism was about equality? The past and the present are no longer working as one, and this is exactly why feminism has become a dirty word.
We no longer need to fight to make one sex feel as strong as the other. Our main focus as a society is due for a change, and that change is equality. Equality for Women. Equality for Men. Equality for all religion, all race, all humanity.
In the last one hundred years, we have come further than we ever have before in technology and in science. We've used our minds to conquer disease, darkness, travel and communication. We've studied how to be better for humanity, so what's stopping us from adjusting the way we think about our fellow humans?
Life is not a race to be better than our neighbors. Our children should be taught to believe that they can be whoever they want to be and taught to be the best they can be, not just by their parents but also by their peers. They should be taught that it isn't gender that defines a person, that gender is just a different chromosome.
I choose to no longer call myself a feminist, not because I am not one, because l can't associate myself with that word now that there are women, claiming to be feminists, that have set a standard. And for this, quite frankly, I would never want to.
So I'm standing up for equality. Not just for women, but for men. For the children of the future. The world is not perfect, and certainly in parts of the world other than western society where there are far worse issues with equality than what I experience.
There is still work that must be done, and it starts with the education of our children.