Growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, I can distinctly remember hearing the word ‘feminist’ used as a slur. It conjured up images of unshaved legs, a face sneered in anger, a humorless woman who didn’t care about being attractive (and wasn’t), a woman who hated (and was hated by) men.
During my boy-crazy pre-teen years, it was an insult of the highest order. Strangely, though, outside of that context, I really didn’t hear too much about the word. I went to an all-girls school. Our motto was “Girls can do anything” and the importance of gender equality was embedded in nearly everything we did. Yet our teachers rarely, if ever, called it feminism. It was a word to be implied, but never spoken, probably because the teachers guessed that if they called what they were teaching us feminism, we’d want nothing to do with it.
Thankfully, and rightfully so, all that has shifted. For the first time in probably decades, the word is being propagated (if not always embraced) by the mainstream media. Beyonce wrote an album about it. Karl Lagerfeld celebrated it in his Spring 2015 Chanel show. Emma Watson championed it in front of the UN. Celebrities are clamoring to be labeled as one and, unsurprisingly, young women (even of the pre-teen boy-crazy variety) are proudly following in their footsteps.
But feminism is not a trend. It’s been around for centuries (see: Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, published in 1792) and has played a major role in shaping our society today (hi abolitionism, environmentalism, suffragettes). And, sorry bae, but feminism, as a word, actually means something — no matter how much it’s being thrown around.
Women had very few
rights. They could not vote,
get an education or have a career, marriage was often
their only option. More Info
American Women gain
the right to vote in 1929 lead by Susan B. Anthony and many other brave women. More Info
In 1921 founded the American Birth Control League, which evolves
into the Planned Parenthood in 1942. More Info
1961, The Food and Drug Administration approves birth control pills allowing reproductive freedom
for women. More Info
(Commission on the Status of Women) The 1963 report documents substantial discrimination of women in the workplace. More Info
1963 Betty Friedan's highly influential book describes the dissatisfaction felt by middle-class housewives. More Info
In 1963, this act makes it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for the same job. Fifty years later, there is still a pay gap.More Info
1967, entered the all-male Boston Marathon. Switzer was attacked during the race by a marathon official. More Info
1972, a groundbreaking statute requires all students receive equal athletic and education opportunities in U.S. schools. More Info
Women fight for legalized abortions as a choice, they feel banning abortion puts women at risk of illegal abortions. More Info
Many women in the world still have very few rights, too many are raped and forced to marry young. More Info
After decades of serving in the military, in 2013 women are allowed to participate in active combat alongside fellow male soldiers. More Info
Dare to live a big life!
Join the movement for gender equality and feminism. We know you have something smart, funny, positively girly and wonderfully womanly to say—-we double-dog dare you to share your support for feminism with the world!
she believed she could, and she did!
Educate yourself on the history of the women's movement and what young women are doing right now that illustrates girl power and womanly wiles at the best. Below is a list to get you started!
Be proud of being a feminist. Invite your guy and girl friends, Mom, Dad, Coach, and teachers to join the f-word movement. Harnessing the power of feminist of the past by striving to make daring choices.