The Vermont Cynic

Filed under Opinion

Western feminism has it wrong

Isabella Alessandrini

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There have been tremendous strides made in the realm of gender equality and women’s rights over the past several decades in the western world. Today, men and women are equal under the law.

American women are among the freest, most well educated and most self-determining women on the planet.

However, women in many parts of the world do not enjoy the rights western women do.

Instead of devoting their attention to areas of the world where women suffer horrific human rights violations, western feminists devote too much of their attention to more trivial matters by comparison.

For example, hundreds of thousands of women marched across the nation to protest President Donald Trump and some sexist remarks he has made in the past.

I acknowledge that Trump has said some concerning things about women. Sexism and discrimination based on gender are totally unacceptable.

However, while women gathered for Women’s Marches wearing vagina hats and holding vulgar signs, women in other areas of the world were suffering.

According to the World Health Organization, 200 million women alive today have been subject to female genital mutilation.

In Yemen, women are not allowed to leave the house without a male companion, nor is a woman’s testimony in court seriously considered unless it is accompanied by a male’s testimony to back it up, according to the Washington Post.

According to the New York Times, Saudi Arabia prohibits women from driving cars.

Women in China have been subject to forced abortions.
In 2009, a woman who was seven months pregnant with
a second child was forced into an abortion, according to the Washington Post.

In 2012, a 16-year old Moroccan girl committed suicide after being forced by a judge to marry her rapist, according to the Washington Post.

Suddenly, Trump’s sexist remarks might not seem so bad.

I am not saying that western feminists don’t care about what goes on in other countries. What I am saying is that they don’t focus enough of their efforts to advocating on behalf of women who suffer from state-sanctioned oppression.

Americans have tremendous resources and influence that can be used to assist others around the world who do not enjoy the same legal protections and rights given in the US.

If western feminists put as much effort into advocating for the oppressed women around the world as they do the issues they fight for at home, the lives of women across the globe could be greatly improved.

Until then, too many women will be continue to be treated as second-class citizens and be denied basic human rights.

1 Comment

One Response to “Western feminism has it wrong”

  1. stephen on March 31st, 2017 11:10 am

    Men and women are not “equal under the law.” Until men (legislators) stop telling women what to do with their bodies, women will not be equal under the law. Women are not equal in business. Until women receive equal pay for equal work, they will not be equal to men in the workplace. Until women in this country are treated like human beings to be respected rather than little more than a handful of pussy, they should continue to march and fight every single day. And any man with a sense of decency should be standing next to them shoulder to shoulder fighting for women’s rights. None of us are equal until we are all equal. Until men realize that women don’t need to be told what they should and should not be advocating for we won’t have anything remotely resembling equality.

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Western feminism has it wrong