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International Women’s Day

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Thanks to the folks at Lane Change for this post inspiration.

In 1986, the Supreme Court recognized that women have the right to a workplace that is free from sexual harassment.

In 1993, the Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment is still illegal even if it doesn’t result in serious bodily injury or psychological harm.

In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that women can sue for punitive damages as the result of sex discrimination.

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that it is illegal to punish someone for complaining about sex-based discrimination.

So many people equate feminism with the suffragettes or the 1980’s power woman, muscling her way through life with the help of her awe-inspiring shoulder pads.

In reality, feminism can’t be relegated to a period of history, to a particular culture or ethnicity, even to a particular gender.

Feminism is about fairness. It’s about equality. It’s about not being a total dickhead.

Feminism is immensely pragmatic. We have made a lot of progress over the last century, but we still find ourselves living in a world where it is perfectly legal to fire a pregnant woman rather than put her on light duty as you would any other temporarily disabled employee; women have to fight for the ability to feed their infants in public, or to be able to pump at their place of work in order to maintain their milk supply while separated from their very young children.

We have made a lot of progress, but the need for feminism is still just as great as it was fifty years ago. We are still struggling to be recognized as an established, integral, esteemed part of the public discourse. Our bodies are still policed, our morals and reasoning abilities questioned.

So next time you hear someone tell you that she isn’t a feminist because she doesn’t hate men, please remind her: if she drives a car, has her own bank account, goes to school, selects her own clothing based off of her own interests and reasoning, if she has a job, votes, has someone to turn to if she is sexually harassed, molested or raped, if she uses birth control, sends kids to daycare, stays home with them by choice, if she has any choices in life at all, she can thank a feminist.

Because choice is not a god-given right, and it is certainly not universal; it is something we have had to fight for, and we plan to keep right on fighting, because it is just that important.


Written by GRSeim

March 9, 2012 at 5:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I would only disagree with the part about choice not being “god-given.” People are born into the world with the freedom of choice, wherever they are. The fact that it needs to be fought for is evidence of the power structures and social systems that restrict the freedom of choice. Everyone has that freedom, all the time. But many find that when they exercise it, they make some piss-ants uncomfortable. It is one of the truly foolish acts of our species.


    March 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm

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