Five More Reasons We Still Need Feminism

Sirens siren Heather Wood Rudulph has written a piece for Huffington Post about five reasons we still need feminism, including the recent murder of abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller, and the propensity of pop culture to make women look like marriage-crazy loons.

Her five reasons are just dandy, but why limit ourselves to only five? It was depressingly easy to think of five more reasons we need more of the F-word. We still need feminism….

  1. Because men still catcall us in public. Street harassment is everywhere. Last summer, a drunk man called me a “tramp” while waiting in line for a restaurant bathroom. And just last week, some creep slowed down his car, opened his door in front of us, leered at us, then drove away. This crap has got to stop. But here’s a little good news: some NYC activists started Holla Back NYC, where women can send in reports about their street harassment and camera phone pics of the douchey offenders. Start one in your town!
  2. Because Chris Brown allegedly beat Rihanna bruised and bloody—and millions of other women also suffer at the hands of their intimate partners. Unfortunately, domestic violence isn’t something we usually talk about until it blows up into a big media fracas because of celebrities. But the Department of Justice estimated approximately horrifying 1.3 million women are assaulted by an intimate partner each year. [American Bar Association Commission On Domestic Violence]
  3. Because a company called Myriad Genetics owns the patents to the breast cancer genes, so scientific study on this deadly form of cancer is limited. Yup, your genes can be patented. Scary, huh? Myriad Genetics owns the patent to the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 genes, which, when they have mutations, put women at a higher risk for breast cancer. This means that Myriad scientists are the only ones legally allowed to study these genes. Furthermore, breast cancer research activists have balked at the fact that Myriad charges $3,000 for genetic testing of “their” BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Obviously, that’s way too much money for many middle-class and low-income women. If this situation doesn’t depress the crap out of you too much, we highly suggest you see the documentary “In The Family” by Joanna Rudnick, about a young woman who carries the potentially deadly gene mutation. [ACLU]
  4. Because we finally signed the Equal Pay For Equal Work Bill this year. Way back in 1998, a tire plant supervisor named Lily Ledbetter sued the Goodyear Tire Rubber Co. in Alabama when she discovered male colleagues in the position earned more money than she did. In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that Ledbetter couldn’t be receive back-pay for this discrimination because she had waited more than 180 days to sue. Fortunately, the first bill President Obama signed when he came into office in January 2009 was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. Also called the Equal Pay For Equal Work Bill, it will allow discriminated workers to sue over decades-long claims, whether the discrimination pertains to their gender, race, religion, national origin, disability or age, so long as the pay disparity is still in effect. Great news, of course. But still, none of this happened until friggin’ 2009. [ABC News]
  5. Because companies still use sexist advertising like this and this and this. Companies used to use sexist advertising back in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, I think, because there wasn’t much of a feminist consciousness developed about it, so they didn’t know any better. Now we’re convinced companies use sexist ads because they know it’s not P.C. and they’re baiting to get attention.

These are just five reasons we could think of why we still need feminism. Can you think of more? Tell us in the comments below.