The Fight for Equality

Poem by Ellie Greer, senior at Westlake High School.

 

The shouts for equality

pierce through the TV screen,

smoke pouring from their nostrils

as news rooms demonize this intense passion 

and with it

the very strength of femininity

MONSTERS. PSYCHOPATHS.

We are expected to laugh. To mock. 

To belittle everything we have simultaneously 

worked so hard to achieve.

Toxic words. False representations.

They permeate the depths of society

tainting the image of “feminist”.

Equivalent to the cruelest of words.

The harshest of insults.

Media has twisted the very foundation

of gender equality

so that it amounts to nothing more

than man-hating radicals.

 

Strong has transformed into power-hungry.

Capable has warped into aggressive. 

Intelligent has been twisted into insanity.

 

“Women only want power! Their fight has already been won!” they claim.

 

Please. 

 

Tell that to the millions of mothers

who feel pressured to give up their life’s work 

after being denied maternity leave.

Tell that to the millions more that are victims of constant domestic abuse.

Tell that to Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and the dozens more

who violated even the most basic of human rights.

Feminism is NOT about superiority.

Feminism does NOT revolve around hatred.

Feminism does NOT embrace intolerance.

Yet the media continues to perpetuate these stereotypes,

allowing hatred and prejudice to run

rampant.

Even in the safest of streets

inequality is everywhere

seeping under the cracks of classroom doors

creeping through the thin walls of office cubicles

into the ears of young girls like you and I

who have been groomed by society

to remain silent. submissive. delicate. 

Idly waiting.

Waiting for change. 

Waiting for our prince charming to magically swoop in and save us from the tower of injustices.

But life is not a fairytale and we are by NO means

damsels in distress.

We must cast aside these antiquated clichés that the demand the fragility of the woman.

Even as the media continues to subject powerful women

to constant persecution.

The future of feminism does not lie with news channels.

Nor does it lie with our male peers,

who base their confidence in the objectification of our bodies.

The fight for equality lies with us,

the young women who have the strength to resist the misrepresentation

of the media

and build upon the powerful beauty

of our gender.