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
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.
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
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.
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.