OPINION: More to feminism than meets the eye

By Jack Ryan, executive in-depth editorFullSizeRender

I was in my Italian class a couple weeks ago and I told my classmate about a sex ring that was busted in Arlington Heights, the town we have lived in our whole lives. I told her that 150 people were busted in the ring and that people from all over the Chicagoland area were a part of it.

Then I told her I was in Feminism Club, a club that originated this year to support the equality of women. Instead of her being concerned about the sex ring that affected hundreds of people in our area, my minuscule club membership is what caught her attention.

She gave me a ridiculing look and said, “You’re a part of Feminism Club?”

I looked back at her and told her hesitantly that I am a part of it.

No, I do not wear makeup, I do not have breasts, I do not wear dresses, and most importantly I am not a woman. I thought to myself about how many people assume that since I am a guy I can not be a part of Feminism Club and judge me for being a member nonetheless.

Then again, I have to remember that these judgements can not deter me as a person. I am proud to say I am one of the 58 million feminists in America in 2015 even though I am a man.

Feminism means the social, political and economic quality of the sexes; people must realize that feminism is not just fighting for women’s rights, but it is fighting for every gender’s rights.

I know the word “feminism” has a negative connotation to it for some people, but one must realize that the word “feminism” fits under the umbrella of egalitarian and humanitarian as well. I am not saying that every man should be call themselves a feminist like I do, but a man must understand that feminists like Lindy West, a former editor of the Jezebel, are fighting for men’s rights as well since once again, feminism is not solely for supporting women, but it is for supporting all sexes.

As high schoolers we are influenced by the people around us, and one might feel that they can not call themselves feminists like their friends because they have a certain position on capitalism or gun control.

I just want to make clear that feminism is not an ideology trying to fix all those issues. It is an ideology that it trying to fix the gender issues that have plagued society.

When Emma Watson presented her empowering speech about feminism at the United Nations (UN) in 2014, she launched her campaign called HeForShe, which is a campaign for men and boys to advocate for feminism. She explains that men and boys need to start advocating for feminism more, and to take a stance with women against gender equality.

Yes, I understand that men might be hesitant to call themselves a feminist or to support feminism since some feminists are trying to make men not spread their legs on public transportation since it takes up more room. But some is not all.

After reading this, if you still believe that you are not a feminist, or you think that the “feminism” still has a negative connotation to it, understand what Emma Watson said at her UN speech: “If you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It is the idea and ambition behind it.”