The Other “F” Word

The Prairie Editorial Staff

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The “F” word. It is one of the most incorrectly used and controversial words in the English language. People use it all the time in regular conversations, but most do not know what actually it means.

Unless you have taken a gender communication class with Professor Paula Schlegel, the F word that first popped into your mind was most likely not “feminist.”

The word feminist dates back decades and has changed in the years of its existence. Now, according to Schlegel, it is defined as when a person wants equality for the sexes.

That’s it. No bra burning (although that was a myth that never happened, by the way), no requirements on sexual orientation or age and certainly no man hating. The idea that a feminist can be spotted from far away without ever talking to the person is a ridiculous generalization. The word itself is not a type of clothing or a haircut that a person has. It is a lifestyle based on the quest for entirely equal treatment for both men and women and those who are in between.

One frequent issue that our society sees is when a self-proclaimed feminist looks down upon and does not respect a stay at home mother. The decision that a woman makes regarding where she spends her days is solely the business of her and possibly her family.

Feminism is about wanting both sexes to have the choice to decide where they want to work and allowing them to do so without judgment based on the stereotypes corresponding with the parts they were born with.

Feminism is about wanting both men and women to feel empowered as if their opinions matter to society.

It is about men and women getting paid equally for equal quality work.

It is about women becoming important public officials and not being expected to act like a man just to make it in a tough world. Women bring their own unique expertise that is important to any job.

It will never be about hate. It will never be about discouraging another human being. It will never be about demoting a group of people so the other group can rise above. It will never be about sexual orientation or the profession you choose to enter following college graduation.

Feminism is about wanting both groups to coexist without judgment or jealousy.

We at the Prairie think it is important that education about feminism begins at WT. The first step to problem-solving is admitting you have a problem, but the second step is making a change. This is the wake-up call.

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