Nancy GarblaProfessor Jacqueline RampeyCRS101-1204, December 2017 I am a woman, hear me In society, feminism is a difficult problem to discuss because women are the ones being oppressed and the group with the higher power does not see what the problem is. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All be Feminist”, Naheed Mustafa’s “My Body Is My Own Business” and “Body and Volleyball” by BBC News give their readers an insight on the challenges women face that makes the idea of feminism relevant. As a society, we should stop ignoring gender inequality by rectifying it. Despite women have some power and equal rights as men, feminist ideas and theories are still relevant in the 21st century because of division of responsibilities, sex stereotyping, and rape culture.
Feminist ideas and theories are still relevant because of the expectations and division of responsibilities society places on women that reinforce feminism. According to Adichie, a husband and wife had the same job but whenever they are home, the wife does all the housework. The wife usually thanked her husband whenever he changed their baby (Adichie 37). By showing gender roles, Adichie emphasizes that feminism is a big issue in society. Society has put a label on women that they are more fit to do housework.
This is unfair because if a woman and a man have the same job, work the same number of hours a week, whether full-time or part-time, getting the housework done should be shared equally among both sexes. Society needs to realize just because some women are housewives, the role should not be expected from all women and it should not be generalized for all women especially when they work just as much as men in formal jobs. Adichie states that we teach girls how to take care of men’s ego by telling girls not to be ambitious and that their success will intimidate men. (Adichie 27). This is a problem because we have made our young girls to lower their standards for men, so they will make them feel superior while it will make young girls feel inferior. We should raise young girls to be confident and ambitious. They should achieve their goals and not care about hurting men’s pride.
Society needs to understand that women can be just as, or even more successfully than men and that shouldn’t be an issue because everyone should be judged based on merits, not gender. Secondly, feminist ideas and theories are relevant because of the pressure society places on women about beauty standards and marriage expectations. Feminine beauty is characterized through fairy tales from an early age. Women feel pressured to follow the beauty standards society have set for them in order to attract men. For example, girls are taught from early youth that their worth will be proportional with their allure.
They feel urged to seek unique notions of beauty not understanding that such urged is useless (Mustafa 2). Women should not focus so much on their appearance for a man. They soon forget what beauty is about when they feel they have to hold a certain standard in order to attract a man. It is not these girls’ fault because that’s how they were raised. It is the person’s inner beauty and personality that matter, not their looks. Society needs to reframe its standards and stop making women feel inferior.
Society have made both gender to believe that there are different expectations for them. Adichie states that society thinks that women are supposed to get married at a certain age and if they passed that age it means that they have failed. Men are not held to that standard. For men, society asserts that not marrying simply means that they have not find the right partner(Adichie 30). It is wrong for society to think that when a woman doesn’t marry at a certain age they failed but when a man doesn’t its ok and they are still looking for the right one.
It all has to do with how boys and girls were raised. For example, if a man lives with his mother until he is, say, 25, society deems it as acceptable, but criticize women for living with their families. Society needs to get rid of these mentalities because such double standards are illogical and unfair.
Lastly, feminist ideas and theories are relevant because of the excuses society create for sexual violence against women and the discriminative clothing women are subjected to wearing during volleyball. Rape is one of the cruelest way a man can show a woman his authority because it is not an exchange of affection or emotion. Adichie states that society has made people believe that, assault is not right yet what is a young girl doing alone with a young man (Adichie 33). How would the young lady know any assault was going to take place? This is a major problem in society that needs to be changed by not calling girl’s inappropriate names because of a certain way they dress and it shows that rape culture truly blames the victim and not the perpetrator. The sports industry contradicts society views on what women should wear in order to avoid rape when Olympics female volleyball players are required to wear. For example, “female volleyball players were obliged to wear bikinis with the lower part no more than 7 cm from top to bottom at the hip” (BBC News9 2). The sport industry hase place audience focus on the physical appearance of the female’s athletes rather than their performance. This is a problem because sexual exploitation of female athletes’ bodies judges their values like her body size and attractiveness instead of the qualities they uphold as an athlete.
Society needs to rectify this inequality by allowing women to freely wear whatever they please as long as it makes them feel comfortable. This all adds to women insecurities because when they go out they have to be mindful of what they wear before they attract the wrong person. Also, society needs to stop objectifying women’s bodies as well as victimizing them in terms of rape culture. Some people might argue that feminist ideas and theories are not relevant because women have some power and equal rights as men. According to Adichie some people will state that women have some power because they utilize their sexuality to get things from men (Adichie 44). Saying that women have some power is not always true. For example, a girl cannot really say no to sex because sometimes rape will occur.
Even though the woman will specify that she is not interested in sexual intercourse but then it ends up happening by force. Or if a woman becomes a prostitute, she doesn’t really have a say because men have the money to control her. Society needs to wake up and realize that it’s not a simple no that stops a man from getting what he wants. Due to the fact that most men do not go through gender inequality they do not know that it exists. According to Adichie, most men said that the act of feminism is interesting to them because they do not see gender as a problem. They believe that things might have been bad for women in the past but not anymore (Adichie 42). Men do not go through gender inequality because they are in the higher power and do not suffer from the hands of the oppressor.
The only way this problem will be resolved is for men to recognize that gender inequality is a problem and speak out instead of keeping silent or staying blind and believing that it does not exist. In conclusion, feminist ideas and theories are still relevant in the 21st century because of division of responsibilities, sex stereotyping, and rape culture. Sexual orientation imbalance will stay applicable until the point when men perceive that sex disparity is an issue and stand up as opposed to keeping noiseless or remaining visually impaired and trusting that sex imbalance does not exist. Both genders need to speak out and there society to stop the gender inequality.