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Feminism is for everybody

Joshua Sonnenberg ’25

Feminist. Oftentimes, what comes to mind when people hear this word is a specific stereotype. Society thinks of a woman who does everything in her power to challenge the system. A woman who is employed and doesn’t allow men to do anything for her. A woman who has disdain for stereotypically female hobbies and does everything she can to go against gender norms.

Many people think that in order to be a feminist, one must strive to lead their life in a way that constantly defies historically female stereotypes. These people are completely missing the point of the modern feminist movement. Feminism should be about alleviating the pressure placed on women to adhere to these societal gender roles, but this does not mean that they should feel obligated to contradict these norms in order to be considered feminists. We at The Tower believe you do not have to fit any stereotypical mold in order to be considered a feminist.

Women do not need to challenge stereotypes to be feminists. A feminist is anyone who is passionate about the equality of the sexes and believes women should be able to choose their own path in life regardless of what other people believe they should be doing. This includes the choice to adhere to female stereotypes if they so choose; women can have stereotypically female interests and still be feminists. It means they can be nurturing and still be feminists. It means they can be emotional and still be feminists. It means women can be stay-at-home moms and still be feminists or they they can have historically female professions, such as teaching and nursing, and still be feminists. Feminism should include support for all types of women.

We at The Tower also believe anyone can be a feminist regardless of gender expression. You don’t have to identify as a woman to be a feminist. This has been a heated debate between members of the feminist movement for quite some time: many women think that since men are a part of the problem, they are unable to be a part of the solution. However, we at The Tower disagree. We believe that if more men familiarize themselves with the principles of the feminist movement and listen to women’s voices on gender discrimination, the more they can do to further equality for women. We believe that, as long as you view yourself as an advocate for women’s rights, everyone can be a feminist.

It is also an unfortunate stereotype that all feminists hate men, which is deeply false. Just because feminists strive to repair the centuries of injustices women have faced does not mean that they wish the same upon men. The stereotype that all feminists hate men also frequently seeps into the way people categorize the sexual orientations of feminists. We at The Tower believe that discrimination based on sexual orientation has no place in the feminist movement.

If society is truly serious about making progress in gender equality, it needs to place inclusivity in the feminist movement at the utmost importance. Feminists cannot even begin to solve issues surrounding gender disparity without getting everyone on board first. We at The Tower challenge the mold feminists are told they have to fit into. To achieve further success in the feminist movement, feminists must work not only to educate all people but to also consider diverse points of view.

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About the Contributor
Joshua Sonnenberg ’25
Joshua Sonnenberg ’25, Graphics Editor
Joshua Sonnenberg ’25 has a lot of unique hobbies, such as building his own computer, participating in lots of running, and frequently adding to his comic book collection. His love for drawing however is what inspired him to become Graphics Editor for The Tower. “I love having the opportunity to publish both written and artistic works in the paper,” Sonnenberg said. The second year staffer is never seen without wired headphones, which usually have boygenius playing. Sonnenberg can almost always be found uniquely making his graphics on his phone instead of the typical iPad.

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