With feminism constantly under attack, the onus is often on feminists to explain and try to convince others that, no, we have not yet achieved equality, and yes, we still need to work towards it. At the same time, acknowledging the progress women have already made also helps us understand why feminism is necessary – because it shows it’s working. Without losing sight of the sexism rampant at every corner of our society, we can still celebrate the strides that feminism has made thus far and be proud to be a part of that movement.
Gender equality is not around the corner, and there will be no milestone where we can say with certainty, “We’re done.” We will only be done once the lived experience of being a woman is not fraught with objectification, fear of violence, insecurity, self-hatred, and all the other emotions that come from knowing you are considered less than human. Rather than expecting these experiences to end, what feminism can give us right now is the knowledge that we’re not crazy for having them, that they’re worth combating, and that we’re in the fight together. In the end, the point remains that there’s nothing about feminism to be ashamed of. It’s a simple philosophy stemming from the concept that we should all be treated fairly, it concerns everyone and with all of us working together; we can build a world where fairness and justice prevails over oppression and injustice and we’ll be better for it… That is something to be proud of.
We teach girls that they can have ambition, but not too much … to be successful, but not too successful, or they’ll threaten men, says author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In this classic talk that started a worldwide conversation about feminism, Adichie asks that we begin to dream about and plan for a different, fairer world — of happier men and women who are truer to themselves.