Why the Backlash?

The word feminism is dirty in the hallways at Dana Hall School. At school assemblies, the word produces cringes. During presentations, you’ll hear sighs. Worst of all, the chatter among the students is filled with “I don’t even care about feminism.”

Perhaps–or at least I hope–these girls are just ignorant of the goals of feminism? No, it is not to be butch, or hairy, or ugly, or manly. It is not to abandon feminine practices and indulgences, like shopping and salon trips. It even isn’t against being a stay at home mom, if that is what you want. What feminism calls for is the equality. Women should be treated and regarded with the same respect and dignity as men.

As students at Dana, we have been taught well, given thorough educations, and learned practical skills to use throughout our life. All of us will go onto some further level of education, and eventually, we will be primed and ready for jobs. When we enter the job force, we will be confident young women who are ready to take on the challenges of the real world. The last thing we want threatening our position is our gender.

Sadly, girls at Dana can become so caught up in the stigma and stereotypes regarding feminism they are scared to embrace it. Even so, it is odd that at an all girls school the majority of the student body rallies against feminist ideals. Maybe this is because, in high school, conformity is omnipresent. This goes for Dana too, although it is a diverse and typically accepting community, but not so here. When feminism is brought up, many girls stick to the status quo. I argue, and boldly so, that they should reject the controversy surrounding the word and revel in its power.

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