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Why Feminism? A Very Basic Intro

I’ve wanted to write a series on feminism for a long time. It’s a huge topic and I was never really sure where to start. The fact that I am not an expert also seemed like an impediment. But recently, I’ve become more aware that the feminism conversation is one that everyone can join in. Several things stand out to me.

One, feminism itself isn’t a single ideology. There is a long history of women’s movements. Throughout the past, women and men have used various tactics in combatting one thing-oppression against women.

Secondly, because of the various movements that have trickled down into today’s culture, there can be some confusion regarding what feminism is today. What does it mean to be a feminist? Can I call myself a feminist if I don’t agree with everything feminism stands for? What exactly do feminists stand for, if women today can vote and go to school and get a divorce?

As most of you know, there’s much more to it than that.

A few things have spurred me to study feminism a little closer. I began learning about human trafficking, in which women and children make up 80% of the victims. I began to see how common abuse is, and how common it is for female victims to be disregarded as too emotional, irrational, or even asking for it. The fact that 1 in 4 women in America is abused shocked me, but I’ve seen it. Those near me have lived that statistic. I can promise you there is absolutely no good reason why these women should have been ignored; neither were they “asking for it”. Maybe like me, you’ve never been oppressed in these ways. But oppression against women is very much alive and kicking, and no one can afford to ignore it.

So, that’s why I’ve wanted to write on the subject. It’s a conversation worth joining. We don’t have to be a victim of or an expert in oppression in order to participate in raising awareness for something that we should know how to recognize and respond to as friends, mothers, sisters, fathers, husbands, brothers, citizens, and neighbors. The next few blog posts will be about feminism’s history, what it means today, and what feminism combats. As a Christian, I will also be sharing a biblical perspective on these issues. Whatever your worldview, I hope you feel welcome to join me in exploring this topic. This is a topic for everyone.

In the meantime, this TED talk is an excellent explanation of why oppression, specifically domestic violence, isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s well worth the 16 minutes or so and I can’t recommend it to you highly enough.

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