"Why I Need Feminism" Campaign Strikes A Nerve & Goes Viral

by
Owen Poindexter
Cambridge students were asked why they need feminism, and to write their answers on a dry erase board and have their picture taken. The campaign has gone viral on social media, because it provides simple, powerful reminders that women are held to stricter, tighter standards and are rewarded less for their work.

Cambridge students were asked why they need feminism, and to write their answers on a dry erase board and have their picture taken. The "Why I Need Feminism" campaign has gone viral on social media, because it provides simple, powerful reminders that women are held to stricter, tighter standards and are rewarded less for their work. There are many professions that are difficult to break into, and it is very difficult to find an employer who will give adequate maternity leave. Sexual assault is not a big problem for adult men, but it is a huge problem for adult women.

The solution to this isn't any one program or initiative, but it is one big movement: feminism. Feminists have been smeared both as dirty hippies and as overly PC behavior-controllers, but more and more, feminists are anyone: your Starbucks barista, your cab driver, that guy in the elevator, the President. These signs are a reminder that despite widespread support, there is work to be done.

This batch below I included partly for the guy who wrote, "I need feminism because...I'm sexist and I know it." It might sound like he's making fun of the whole thing (and I suppose he could be), but people like him are what the feminism movement needs now: people who realize that they are part of the problem. Studies on racism have shown that people who talk the good talk on racism may have subconscious racist attitudes (revealed through a stroop test). A similar effect may be going on with sexism, where there are people who intellectually believe that women are at least the equals of men, but may have subconscious sexist attitudes. The way to deal with those attitudes is to become aware of them, and it seems that the "sexist and I know it" guy has.

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