77 reasons we still need feminism

11 Jul

This is what a feminist looks like!

Lately, I’ve been asked more and more why I’m a feminist. “Do we even need feminism anymore?” they ask.

They think feminism is about becoming better than men. They think feminists are angry at men for their privilege (and sometimes that’s true). They allege it’s time for a men’s rights movement to counteract feminism, since some feminist measures have appeared to succeed in leveling the playing field. In some cases, women are appearing to fare better than men – for example, 25 percent more women graduate from college than men. Some people think this means feminism has worked, and is now just hurting America.


And although women as a group have made substantial gains in wages, educational attainment, and prestige over the past three decades, the economists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson have shown that women are less happy today than their predecessors were in 1972, both in absolute terms and relative to men.

– Ann Marie Slaughter, former director of policy planning for the U.S. State Dept., Why Women Still Can’t Have It All (The Atlantic)

As if that isn’t enough, here are 77 reasons to be a feminist (one for each cent a woman makes for doing the amount of work that a man gets a dollar for):

  1. Lists like these are still necessary.
  2. Men make almost half a million more in 40 years of working than a woman – if they saved it up, it’s enough to feed their family for 37 additional years.
  3. Some workplaces – including in Kansas City – require women to wear heels, which cause long term health problems. There is not an equivalent for men. (It’s easy to say “So then don’t work there,” but not everyone has the luxury to choose.)
  4. Mothers are less likely to be hired than fathers. Mothers are seen as a risk – she might take days off for the kids – while fathers are seen to be hard-working family men.
  5. Women who report sexual harassment in the workplace are seen as “prudes”. Career experts advise women not to report it.
  6. We’re still held to “lady like” standards at home and work – no such standard is a barrier for men. It’s funny when men fart, but disgusting when women do it. It’s ok when men swear, but on women it’s uncouth.
  7. I don’t want my little sister to be treated like I’ve been treated in the workplace.
  8. “You’re emotional” is a way to undermine women’s passionate opinions, even when passion is seen as a benefit in men.
  9. We are not an interest group.
  10. Girls are still told “It means he likes you” when boys hit them. Violence is touted as flattery.
  11. Men get courtesies like “sir,” women are called “sweetie” in the same situations. (I’ve been called “doll”, “sweetheart,” “hun,” and “babe” in job interviews with men – I doubt they would use the same names for male interviewees.)
  12. Women who keep their maiden name after the wedding have to justify it for the rest of their life. Men aren’t asked to change their identity just because they get married.
  13. “Miss,” “Ms.,” and “Mrs.” define women by their marriage status. Men just use “Mr.” their whole life.
  14. Thinspiration.
  15. Coming out as LGBT or allied can still be scary, even if it gets better.
  16. No one should have to wait to start their career until their kids are grown.
  17. Women still aren’t allowed to serve on the front lines in the military, even if they are capable and want to.
  18. Preventative reproductive health care for women is constantly under siege in politics, but men have autonomy over their bodies and medical decisions.
  19. A woman should be able to make choices (or mistakes) without fearing it’ll look bad on all women. Men don’t worry about making all of mankind look bad.
  20. Men openly comment on a woman’s sexual appetite or ability based on her appearance. For example, my teenage sister’s friend has a tongue piercing, and constantly fields questions from men about her oral sex ability.
  21. Strangers tell women to smile.
  22. “Slut” and “whore” are still insults, because it’s shameful to be a sexual woman.
  23. As the only woman in a meeting, you’re expected to be the secretary.
  24. People think a woman dating a successful man must be a gold digger looking for someone to take care of her.
  25. I’m tired of being afraid to walk alone at night. I don’t want my sister to be afraid, either.
  26. People still think joking about rape is funny.
  27. It’s impossible to find a dance club that doesn’t play woman-hating music.
  28. People think it’s ok to deface feminist messages with anti-woman jokes.
  29. Women are expected to give up everything for her husband’s careers or be deemed selfish. However, a woman who accepts her husband’s help in her career are seen as weak and incapable.
  30. Talk shows and magazines instruct women on how to turn keys into a weapon while in parking lots. My status as a female should not mean I need to arm myself.
  31. Laws dictate when women can opt for sterilization, because an adult woman is not seen as a capable to make her own decision. (In Missouri, women must be 26. Other states go as old as 35.) Men can be sterilized at age 18. Some states require a married woman to get her husband’s permission first, too, but married men are not required to get his wife’s permission.
  32. Saying “I don’t want kids” is met with “You’ll change your mind, when you meet the right man.” Men who don’t want kids are accepted.
  33. Women are expected to tidy communal spaces at work and school after men leave the room.
  34. Online, men will attempt to silence an opinionated woman by describing graphic rape they wish they could do to her.
  35. I’m tired of people telling me I should be flattered by cat calling. It’s not flattering, it’s annoying at best and sometimes downright frightening.
  36. What you drink at the bar is seen as a message to men. 
  37. Women who are unsure about marriage are seen as mentally ill and strange. Men who feel the same way are normal.
  38. I want to see more women who look like me in the media – and not have them regulated to just being the funny fat friend.
  39. Victim blaming is still seen as acceptable.
  40. Some men talk trash on women who have given birth, because it “ruins” their body.
  41. In order to not intimidate men, women are advised to hide their professional achievements from dates.
  42. I’m told I can’t do things because I’m a girl.
  43. Overweight women are compensated less than slim women, even though overweight men are compensated more than slim men.
  44. People still think it’s acceptable to tell “make me a sandwich” jokes. Even to presidential candidates.
  45. After spending a lot in a boutique, the cashier offers to throw away the receipts so “your boyfriend/husband won’t know how much you spent.”
  46. People demand to know what last name you’ll give your nonexistent future child if you possibly decide not to change your name after your hypothetical future wedding.
  47. No one should be stereotyped because of their body. Including men.
  48. Being assertive doesn’t make me “ballsy,” since assertiveness doesn’t come from testicles.
  49. Men (yes, even young men) still complain that women in the workplace “make the office no fun” because they can’t make sexist, racist or explicit jokes anymore because women complain. Damn right I will, because it’s more fun for me to work someplace where I feel safe.
  50. “Feminism” is apparently a dirty word.
  51. Even women can be chauvinists, and don’t realize how they hurting themselves and everyone in their lives.
  52. The term “career woman” is still in usage, even though no one says “career man”.
  53. Sports shouldn’t be a “man’s world”: on the field, in the stands, or as a journalist.
  54. Despite being against the law, women are still asked in job interviews if they plan on having children, and then negatively judged for their answer either way.
  55. Wearing a skirt at the grocery store (on my way home from work), men comment, “Thank God you’re dressed like a real woman, not like all these career women around.” Sorry, bud, I am a career woman. I’m dressed this way for work.
  56. Courses and seminars on dressing appropriately for work are aimed towards women, as if men never dress inappropriately for the office.
  57. We try to “fix” ourselves instead of rebelling against impossible standards.
  58. Media for women makes them feel angry, ashamed and depressed after just three minutes of viewing.
  59. Jokes are made when female babies are born – “oops, better luck next time.” – while boys are a celebration.
  60. Referred to as a “little lady”, even when making large purchases such as a car. It’s not cute.
  61. It’s not a walk of shame, it’s a stride of pride.
  62. Told by career advisers certain aspirations aren’t for women – “They only send men overseas in the business world.”
  63. People would always ask my mom how her husband was before asking how she was. It made me angry every time.
  64. No one should be surprised that a woman who wears lipstick is a scientist.
  65. “Feminine washes” shouldn’t exist. They’re harmful and prey on insecurity.
  66. Women are told they have too many opinions to get a man.
  67. In my industry (public relations), spokeswomen are always called “PR girls”. I haven’t been a “girl” in about a decade, I’m a woman.
  68. Women (and girls) won’t go in public without cosmetics because they’re so afraid of being judged for their natural face.
  69. “Playing like a girl” is considered an insult to boys and men.
  70. “Pretty good, for a girl” is supposed to be a compliment.
  71. I still apologize for taking up space sometimes.
  72. Women are told to “man up” but men aren’t told to “woman up”.
  73. Girls are encouraged to start dieting at age 6.
  74. Birth control is seen as optional, but Viagra isn’t.
  75. Most movies fail the Bechdel Test, where the only requirement is for at least two named female characters talk to each other once about anything other than sex and relationships.
  76. Since I wear bows and high heels, people are surprised I’m a feminist.
  77. Voicing these complaints is met with accusations of whining, defensiveness, or indifference.

What did I miss?


40 Responses to “77 reasons we still need feminism”

  1. Roz January 16, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    If you ever want to why feminism is needed in this society, simply look at the comments in a post such as this.
    Thank you for writing this.

  2. Ronan November 26, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    Bloody hell. What bullshit list. Proves beyond a shadow of a doubt what universe these feminists are living in. I could make a similar list about how men get cleaned out in divorce courts, how we have to put routinely put up with mean, bitchy women in the dating world or how we are far more likely to be victims of violence than women.

    Or jobs I’ve worked in where men did all the heavy manual work, and the women sat around gossiping and filing their nails.

    I won’t though. ‘Cos we just get on with it.

    Women ARE mistreated in various places round the world for sure, places where they get acid thrown in their faces, can’t drive and the like.

    Feminism, please go there and other places where it’s genuinely needed.

    Not in the western world where women are treated like special snowflakes, and routinely spend their time moaning about how they earn 4.9% less than men and other such nonsense.

  3. Immature_5thGrader August 23, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Yuh need to stop typin and get back in the kitchen, and make meh a sandwich 8==✊==D

  4. Doogie August 22, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    Stop typin and go make me a sandwich

  5. Wendywu May 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Most of the suffering and unfairness I’ve experienced has been at the hands of mean, catty, hateful women. Women can be the most uncaring, insulting, unthoughtful, and unforgiving people. What good is feminism when women can’t even treat their fellow sisters with kindness and respect, whatever our shortfalls? I value kindness, compassion, and forgiveness over equality any day. Feminism? Nah.

  6. in porno website May 16, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    I am in fact glad to glance at this website posts which contains plenty of valuable facts,
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  7. Jared Haag April 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    This list is absolutely insane.

  8. cybroo1a March 27, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Women do not have any human rights concerns in need of the feminist movement. I challenge you to find one thing that needs to be change in law, for women, that is an undeniable human right. Birth control is not a human right! None of your reason are good reasons, and every thing you have said, prove that feminism is no longer a movement, but a cultist ideology. even you think you mention is about philosophy! Open you eyes, Feminism is not needed, Feminism has become your religion. Further more we have human rights, so, not even other countries need feminism. Womens right have long been accepted as human rights by the UN! That was the battle to begin with, to make Women’s right, equal in human rights! Now you can just say: Humanism!!!!!! Through humanism we ill support men’s rights and women’s rights around the world.

  9. cybroo1a March 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    You do realize non of these are legal concerns right?

  10. girlseule February 22, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Thank you for writing this list. The word feminist has almost become an insult for many people and that is sad. I cringe when I hear “we are equal now, we don’t need feminism any more”. One thing that stands out for me is the way we are constantly told that while yes, women can enjoy sex, it needs to be within specific boundaries, ie: a monogamous relationship. Explore sexuality outside of that and you are a slut/whore, clearly have low self-esteem or no self respect. Really?

  11. Andi Enns October 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Emilia, I’d love to know what research you’re referring to.

    However, I disagree that we have to just accept the differences in how men and women are treated. It’s simply not enough to have “basic rights” (which we still don’t have — look at how much Congress fights equal pay acts). It’s not enough to be the same on paper. There are so many other social issues, we need feminism now as much as our grandmothers did. We’re fighting different issues, but they are still important to the quality of our lives.

  12. Emilia September 28, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    If you look at the evidence, it suggests that in western society feminism is actually not still needed. Feminists over the years have achieved the basic fundamental rights; I.E women’s right to vote, equal opportunity for women, women owning their own property, women being in control of their own finances, and much, much more. So, therefore I see no reason why feminism should still play a significant part in western culture.

    There are certain things between men and women that can’t be changed; such as the nature of both sexes. There are a lot of fundamental differences between men and women that should be recognised and indentified with instead of being dismissed and ignored. Men and women are not the same, that should at least be accepted by people.

  13. Jenny Blew July 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Outside sources, not my husband! It’s challenging though, because all the baby books and support websites say women are ready for sex at 6 weeks. Therefore, men read that and unintentionally have expectations. But there are so many challenges for a mother of a 6 week old! You’re unlikely to have lost the weight or excess skin yet, your sexy lingerie has been replaced with nursing bras and shirts that smell like spit up, and all you can think about is your baby and thinking about the baby causes your breasts to leak. (Not to mention, it’s difficult not to resent your partner for still looking as great as he did 9 months ago, and the fact that that he is likely getting twice as much sleep.) I don’t think there are enough resources for men to truly understand what a woman experiences postpartum. More related to your original post, policies regarding maternity leave would likely improve if men had a better window into the first few weeks postpartum.

  14. spiritualliberation July 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Women who are ambitious in the workplace and/or who demand equal respect are considered bitches for not keeping their place. Ouch.

  15. Andi Enns July 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    That’s a really great point, Jenny! I’ve seen way too many articles advising women to have sex with their partners when they don’t want to, regardless of the timing and I think it’s just awful advice — but especially so when your body is healing from childbirth!

    I hope the pressure came from outside people and not your husband, though – I can’t even imagine what I’d say or feel if I had a kid and my husband pressured me into sex.

  16. Jenny Blew July 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Definitely #40. So hurtful, and too common. Also, on the conversation of childbirth, women are still advised/encouraged to engage in sexual intercourse with their partner 6 weeks after giving birth, regardless of how they feel physically or emotionally. That is a terrible burden to put on a woman. This particular subject turned on a feminist light in me that I never knew I had.

  17. Andi Enns July 11, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    I read that article, Randi, and I have mixed feelings. She says the men also suffered tremendously and she pinned her own health issues on polycyctic ovarian syndrome, which she says she got from being deployed. PCOS is a horomone problem though, it’s not something caused by excessive physical strain.

    She points out color blind people don’t measure up to the standards to be a Marine, but I think if all women don’t stand up to that standard, that’s a huge problem.

    In the book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, he points out the biggest arguments against women on the front lines are psychological – men will want to protect them, or men won’t trust them, or the enemy won’t take them as seriously.

    However, there are benefits in putting women on the front lines, especially in our Middle Eastern occupations. In that culture, men and women have very specific rules for interactions, and having women on patrols and raids means they could interact with female civilians in a way that doesn’t offend their culture.

  18. Randi Janell July 11, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Hi! I agree with almost everything you said, except for the comment on women on the front lines (#17). I am an advocate for fairness and equality in the military, but there are health concerns involved for women in combat. I just read a VERY interesting article from a female Marine who has strong opinions about it… you might find it interesting! And I would love to hear you take:
    To sum it up, she did tours where she was on the front lines and extended missions and suffered serious health problems, mostly from carrying all the heavy equipment. She makes good points about equality in the military, but also some realistic concerns. One of her major points is that since we never had women in extended front line combat situations like she was in (that are usually done by males), we don’t have a scientific/medical history of data to look at and make real judgements about the physical effects on a woman’s body. She (and I) are still advocates for equality, but she cautions that we shouldn’t rush into something with good intentions and without medical understanding of what will actually happen.
    So far in the military my experience has been outstanding equality and professionalism in the workplace, with a few exceptions. Mostly those exceptions come from the fact that a lot of people in the military are rather young.


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