Scared To Be Called Feminist

A woman's right to choose? All for it. Equal pay for equal work? You bet I'm for that. So why am I scared?

Assumptions. Preconceived notions. That's why I'm scared. So many people have the belief that feminism equals hating men. I hate to break it to them, but that isn't what it is.

If you look the word "feminism" up in a dictionary, the entry says, "1. Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. 2. The movement organized around this belief." You see that? There's nothing in that definition that says, "The hatred of the male sex." In fact, it's just the opposite. Feminism is about equality.

Ever since the Suffragrettes attempted (and succeeded in) getting women the right to vote, women have sought the same rights as their male counterparts. The biggest issue that arises today is that of equal pay for equal work. As of 2002, a woman earned 77 cents for every dollar a man made, and the statistics only get worse for women of color. According to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, African-American women made 70 cents and Latinas came in at 58 cents per man's dollar. Asian-Pacific-American women also made less than men, although the effect was less, with that particular group earning 83.5 cents per man's dollar.

Women aren't the only ones affected by the equal pay controversy – studies have shown that men working in female-oriented businesses lose an average of $6,259 a year compared to women working in the same businesses.

However, equal pay for equal work is not the only right women are fighting for. For years, a big entitlement that has been fought very hard for is a woman's right to choose. Sure, this brings up the controversial subject of abortion, but feminists believe that women have a right to decide what is going to happen in and to her own body. If you really think hard about it, I'm sure even most non-feminists out there would hardly be against a person having a say over their body. Personally, I believe that women – wait, not just women, everyone - should have a choice of what happens to their body.

So, now you're probably wondering why I'm even writing this in the first place. The truth is, I believe everyone deserves equal rights, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual preference. We were all created equal, with the belief that because we are citizens of these great United States, we would be granted the same and equal freedoms as our fellow Americans. I believe now is the time for those rights to be granted, and that is why I am PROUD to be called feminist.