PC Bros: Feminism: What do you think it is?

From Issue 5

The movement for women’s rights, which would come to be known as feminism during the 20th century, has existed for nearly 200 years now, and it persists in several forms across the modern world. Throughout the 20th century, the feminist movement primarily advocated for voting rights, equal opportunity, and freedom from typically accepted social norms. In the western world today, the movement is known to advocate for the elimination of the wage gap between male and female workers, equal rights for minorities, freedom from sexual harassment and assault, and increased sexual freedom. Since the two of us could not agree on our position on this issue, we decided to find out how Prep students feel about feminism. We asked questions about feminism to a sampling of high school students. What we found was a wide variety of opinions and even definitions of what constitutes “feminism.” Here are some of their responses.


What comes to your mind when you hear the word Feminism?

  1. “When I think about feminism, I think of a movement with a reasonable ideals that has been taken over by messages and people that completely counteract what is trying to be accomplished. The fact that the first thing that pops into my head when I hear the word feminist is a screaming woman with purple colored hair is not in any way helpful to advancing the message that women should be seen as equal.”
  2. “I just think of everyone being equal and all of the endless possibilities and goodness that comes from everyone appreciating everyone’s ideas and creativity, you know? Things just get done a lot better and more efficiently when everyone is valued equally.”
  3. “Feminism reminds me of intense women fighting for ‘equality’ while wanting to not take on as much work.”
  4. “The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word feminism is imagining a parade of women marching around carrying signs about their lack of rights.”
  5. “When I hear feminism, I think it is a term that used to mean equality but has become exaggerated over time to mean different things.”
  6. “I immediately think equality for women to men in society.”

How do you feel about the Feminist movement today?

  1. “For me this one is kinda tricky because there is a LOT I love about the feminist movement and some parts that I don’t totally just want to hold up a poster for, (like abortion) just because I think all life is valuable (immigrants, refugees, literally everyone) so i don’t know the whole pro life pro choice thing has always been a difficult thing for me. But I totally totally thing it should be women’s choice!!! And that it should 100% be legal and safe and everything. I just guess I mean we should do more to prevent that from having to be an option (like birth control and all).
    While we may personally have some differing opinions, what matters is that we all agree that women and men are equal and should have equal opportunities.”
  2. “I think that the original message and the basis of the message that women should be considered equal to men in most ways is sound. I truly think that what many people in the movement today don’t realize is that their messages are heard, and throwing rhetoric and protesting in the way that has shaped the ‘modern’ feminist movement are retroactive to what they are trying to accomplish.”
  3. “It is intimidating because feminists are hard to hold conversations with because they are brainwashed.”
  4. “When it comes to the feminist movement I agree with the fact that women should get equal pay and all the same privileges men do. At the same time I feel that if women want complete and total equality, than they should be expected to do and be able to do all the same things men do; such as be forced to sign up for the draft at the age of 18.”
  5. “I think the modern movement is mostly going in a positive direction but not always going about it in the right way.”
  6. “I think modern feminism is dealing with problems such as gender roles and bias that aren’t plainly visible and that engenders some opposition. I also believe most people agree with that message even if they don’t like how it’s presented.”

Do you have any experience with Feminists either while at Prep or elsewhere?  

  1. No
  2. The only experience I have with the feminist movement is seeing the parade go on in New York, other than that I don’t have any.”
  3. “I haven’t had much experience with feminists at Prep but exposed to it through social media.”
  4.  “Not really at Prep, however on Twitter I see a lot of feminists and antifeminists.”
  5. As someone who takes politics passionately and is involved in political clubs and having an internship at a political consulting firm, I have had numerous experiences with the feminist movement outside of school. Everyone can agree that what they are arguing for is sound, but the methods being utilized to advance their platform are ineffective.”