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Freedom for some means some are not free.
Lesezeit: 3 Minuten

What Feminism means to me: by Theresa Ntloko

I am a feminist, not because I am a woman, or I was raised by a single woman, or I grew up in an environment where women were the majority. I am a feminist because I support full rights and equality for women. For me, being a feminist is quite simple. One of my personal touchstones, is the concept of personal freedom. Freedom is a foundation of our basic laws and of our society. Women, and especially women of color, do not experience the freedom of being themselves. Women are not treated as equals to men, not under our laws, and not by our society. People who are not treated equally are not free. Feminism is important because it works to ensure women have the freedom that men take for granted.

In African countries we are taught from a very young age how to obey a man, how to sit like a lady, how to be a good wife material, how to respect a man, how to talk respectfully towards men. I think that is what makes men think they are more important than women and their needs are superior to the feelings of the women. If men beat their wives, it is called a sign of love or discipline. This is the reason why feminism is important and equality too because I believe women are as important and special as men. For example, women are on average paid somewhere between 78% and 94% of what men in similar jobs and with similar qualifications are paid. This is merely an average, and even though most countries have enacted equal rights laws, these pay disparities persist, and are even worse for women of color. She will have to work longer hours to get to parity, which may not even be possible. Since women are more often than men caregivers for children or elderly relatives, being paid less than men are even more a problem for women. A woman who is paid less than a man is not equal, hence is less free. Women are also made less free because they are more often the victim of domestic violence at the hands of a husband or boyfriend. Our governments have valued the rights of men to keep their guns over the safety of women by opposing “red flag” laws that enable law enforcement to confiscate guns from people who are subject to restraining orders. For example, a man who has previously assaulted a woman partner is able to return with a gun and murder her. When women fear for the lives or are murdered because of a violent partner with a gun, women are less free. To advocate for women’s rights and equality, men must first recognize the privilege that comes from being male in our society. Often, men do not understand the discrimination and unequal treatment that women face because they are often unaware of it. They need to watch for unequal treatment and call it out when they see it. Listen to women. When a woman - wife, mother, sister, friend, colleague – tells them about something that has happened to her, listen to her. Believe her. Ask how they can you help rather than trying to solve the issue for her. When women are treated unequally to men, they are not free to reach their potential. When women are free to achieve, all the society benefits, not just men. Unless men are willing to stand for equality for all, we are not living up to the ideals of the basic laws that our nation was founded on. Freedom for some means some are not free. Women deserve the same freedom that men enjoy, and men must advocate for that.