Thomas Moslander, Staff Writer

Before last year, I didn’t really know what the word feminism meant. I was uneducated on the subject and to be honest, I was kind of a jerk about it. I thought feminism was more of a joke than an actual cause. During the summer of last year, I was introduced to someone who taught me about the concept, and I’ve been continuing to learn ever since.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word feminism as: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights.” To me, this means more than men and women making the same amount of money and both being able to vote, even though these are both important. To me, this means we should live in a world where women are able to share their opinions without being afraid, of violence, or anything similar. It’s not often enough that we hear about women like Marie Curie, or Emily Murphy, because women can change the world to.

One issue that comes up, is that sometimes writers are afraid to introduce strong female characters without being criticized in movies and television. This is starting to change, though. In fact it’s been changing since the 90’s with shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files, who both have casted strong leading women. Even more recently was the introduction of Rey into the Star Wars movies, and the upcoming Ghostbusters movie, with an all female cast.

Feminism has a very misleading name, it should really be called equalism.”

— Emma Vinson

Body image is another major issue feminists are concerned with. Body image is how people perceive themselves, particularly how they view their physical bodies. Due to a constant media bombardment of what the “perfect female body” is supposed to look like, many women are struggling with body image issues. In a survey done by RealSelf.com, 1 in 5 women are planning or considering plastic surgery, and 4 out of 10 individuals have either had, or know somebody, who has had an eating disorder. This is important to the feminist cause because those who perceive themselves in a damaging way deserve to feel comfortable in their own skin. Brayden Allen says, “I feel that if the media started showing people with all kinds of different bodies more often kids will see that it’s okay to be bigger or to be shorter, and then we wouldn’t have this issue.” Essentially our standards of beauty and the way we see ourselves need to change to fit everyone.

There are many different aspects involved in feminism, and there’s many ways you can help support the cause. “Feminism has a very misleading name, it should really be called equalism. There’s a lot issues that have to do with men too. To be a feminist, Emma Vinson said, “You don’t have to be a women, you can just be an average guy.” If you want to help with this movement, do your best to help someone who may have an issue that I previously mentioned or otherwise, in whatever way you can, even if it’s just someone to talk to.  Additionally, make sure you’re not causing an issue. Don’t put others down, and use the tried and true  “treat people how you want to be treated” rule.You can make a difference.