The Cougar Crier

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What Role Does Feminism Play in Our Society Today?

Photo by Tom Hilton

Photo by Tom Hilton

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Throughout the last century, women have gained more rights than ever before.  The feminist movement has ultimately been in successful in providing women with equal rights, pay, and treatment.  In 1920, Congress passed the 19th Amendment, which provided women with the right to vote. In 1963, The Equal Pay Act was passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker.  As a movement, women have been able to overcome the obstacles of restricting societal expectations and gender discrimination. Since the twentieth century, American females have expressed themselves more freely than ever before and continue to do everything in their power in order to make sure their voice remains heard.  Despite all of the rights that women have gained, there are some aspects of society that are still lacking in matters of equality, and we continue to fight for these rights to this day.

The role feminism has played in gaining women’s suffrage throughout the years has made American society more democratic.  This is due to the fact that the women’s rights movement has not just provided women with equal rights and opportunities, but also encouraged many other social movements such as “Time’s Up” and “Black Lives Matter.”  The goal of the Time’s Up Movement is to expose and end sexual harassment of all women, especially in the film and music industry. A most recent inspiration for this cause was the public revelation of widespread sexual harassment and abuse by film producer, Harvey Weinstein.  These sexual harassment allegations gave rise to the Time’s Up movement when more and more women started coming forward about their experiences with sexual abuse within the industry. This movement has gained so much attention that several actors and actresses supported the Time’s Up Movement at the 2018 Golden Globes Awards in January.  Several celebrities present at the event took a stand against sexual harassment by wearing black in an attempt to show their support for the movement to end sexual abuse within the film industry.

In our society today, the most prominent form of protests for greater rights for women and minorities can be found at the Women’s March.  The primary goals of these peaceful protests are to advocate a variety of things such as legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reforms, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ+ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and and workers’ rights.  People throughout the United States march in cities across the country, such as Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  The movement continues to gain more followers in an attempt to gain the rights not already stated in American law. The impact of this movement has been huge because it has gained the attention of big-time politicians and celebrities and has called for reforms, some of which have been taken into account by the United States government.  

If we Americans continue to call for reform and expose problems with legislation, the effect that we, the people, could have would be enormous.  It all started with the feminist movement, when women from all different backgrounds united to fight for the rights they were entitled to. The moment women gained suffrage, it opened up new doors to many other reform movements that ultimately have made America a greater, more democratic place, where all people are created equal regardless of gender, race, sexuality, religion, class, or ethnicity.  These movements have shown us that we, the Americans citizens, have the power to make the world a better place.

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What Role Does Feminism Play in Our Society Today?