If you’ve been on Facebook anytime during the past week, you might have seen the Op-Ed by a Nebraskan college student (who happens to be a 21 year old white male) for The Daily Nebraskan titled “Why Feminism Hurts Modern-Day Relationships”. You can get a sense of the misogyny and sexism from the title if you haven’t read it (which I strongly suggest you do, for kicks and giggles), but bear with me as we unpack his thesis a little bit more, even if you have read this literary gem.
The brief summation of the article is this: it opens with the snappy claim that “feminism has met its goals and women are now equal with men as they should be,” then later goes on to posit that “women have become equal in both the realms of education and economics... [but] they continue to push against the ‘evil man’ until they can push no further”, before finally concluding that not only have women ruined personal relationships with men but “feminism has turned relationships into a competition of equality.” He concludes that men and women should be equal, which is a nice idea that is totally eclipsed by the overarching contrary message of his article.
You don’t have to be a WGST concentrator to realize these are factually incorrect statements, especially in regards to women being equal in the work force. According to the American Bar Association, in 2011 women were 31.9% of all lawyers; the The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business tells us that women in the U.S. earned 36.8% of MBAs in 2010-2011; and the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2011, women made up 46.6% of the labor force. While more women might be applying to college and getting accepted, clearly they are not yet “dominating the American work force.” And don’t even get me started on female representation in the political sphere because that is an entirely separate can of worms (spoiler alert: women aren’t fairly represented there either and men also hold more government positions).
It would be too simplistic to dismiss this kid’s article with an apathetic “he’s just a college student, what does his opinion matter?” or by saying that he clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about, so we shouldn’t pay attention to him. Instead, consider the fact that a soon-to-be English Major is graduating from college having learned nothing about doing research or analyzing factual data and instead draws conclusions about relationships from college admissions’ statistics. He isn’t the only person with similar opinions. Au contraire, he represents how more of the younger generations have similar views. Feminism hasn’t even begun to reach its goal of granting women equal rights and it never will if we take such a lackadaisical and factually incorrect approach to the subject matter.