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Feminism Is NOT Cancer

A Look Into the Way the Word "Feminism" Is Misconceived in the U.S.

Photo by Alexa Mazzarello

In today's political realm, we are faced with mudslinging in all different directions. It sometimes seems impossible to hold an intelligent, open-minded conversation about anything in American politics or international affairs between two people of differing ideologies. 

I recognize that the extremism of political ideology is not representative of all in a certain party or group, but rather of a minute population within that group. 

That being said, one of the most infuriating digs at my personal ideology as a devout feminist is the statement "Feminism is cancer."

Expressing your disagreement with someone's ideas is one thing. Taking it a step further to actively put down another person for what he/she/they believe is harmful to our perception of acceptable free speech.

Feminism is a movement that wants all identifying women to have as many rights and opportunities as men. Feminism recognizes that there still are noticeable differences in the way men and women are treated in the workforce, in the home, and almost any other place in everyday life. 

Feminism is much more than the marches and protests seen in the media today. It is the title of the ongoing battle for women everywhere since as early as 1920 when the 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, thereby giving women the right to vote. It is the slogan "The Personal is Political" coined by Carol Hanisch during second wave feminism in the 1960s through the 1980s while fighting for a woman's right to control her own body. It is the all-encompassing invitation for people to band together to celebrate the abilities and strengths of women in order to build a more cooperative society.

In contrast, some believe that there is benefit in discouraging ideologies as such. When discussing politics, whether it be in the mainstream media, social media, face-to-face interaction, etc. it is sometimes difficult to avoid rude and irrational insults to entire belief systems. Specific to the topic at hand, a growing phrase amongst its opposers is that "feminism is cancer."

Personally, this dig makes absolutely no sense.

Cancer is a disease. Cancer makes people suffer. It causes pain, heartache, true suffering. Cancer has the capacity to tear families apart, destroy lives, make the strongest people we know appear weak. 

Cancer poses a true threat to our well-being. How is an ideology that is just trying to give all human beings equal rights even somewhat comparable? 

We are now living in a world where everyone is throwing punches right after another to see who can hit further below the belt. Our future intellectuals are learning their behaviors from what they observe. At this rate we'll never be able to break this intellectual roadblock.

Instead of comparing harmless ideologies to deadly diseases, we need to come together to respectfully and civilly discuss ideas to better our understanding of one another in order to create compromise. It is not right for us to spend our entire lives arguing with arbitrary insults while our entire civil society deteriorates. 

I lay my case to rest that feminism is not cancer, and neither are any other thoughts, ideas, or belief systems. 

Everything has its own flaws but the sooner we stop scrutinizing, the sooner we can come up with mutually beneficial solutions.

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