With its emerging prominence and growing mainstream acceptability, ‘feminism’ seems to have become the buzzword of the twenty-first century. One significant danger that accompanies the recent developments of contemporary feminism is the potential loss of the central ideology that had initially sparked the movement. Too often have we heard the proclamations of individuals who are seemingly passionate about the feminist conversation yet are unable to pinpoint the essence of feminism. Too often have we heard feminism being mocked by people who are tired of the word being so fervently and frequently used. Too often have we noticed fear to associate oneself with feminism because the concepts seems to suggest radicality. Marie Shear’s statement in her review of A Feminist Diary “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” is the perfect response to such sentiments.

The pursuit of gender equality and women’s rights is an inevitable battle for the advancement of human civilization. Although we have made remarkable progress in the past century alone, it is frightening to remember how recent these necessary improvements have been. The Caucasian American woman has enjoyed her right to vote for less than one century. For American women of color? Just over fifty years. More incredibly, the women of 2017 are still fighting for the right to make their own choices about their own bodies. The women of 2017 are still fighting to escape the monster known as sexual harassment. The women of 2017 are still fighting to close that everlasting gender wage gap. Fundamentally, the women of 2017 are still fighting to be seen as equal to their male counterparts.

The genuine contemporary feminist truly takes these issues to heart, and even the most ardent opponent of feminism cannot pretend that these affairs are fabricated or non-existent. Even the most ardent opponent of feminism must realize that women are always the ones in compromised positions through no fault of their own. It must be obvious that this needs to change; surely people must understand that society cannot move forward when half of its population is essentially oppressed…

But it is not obvious at all. On the one hand, ‘feminism’ has become the embodiment of empowerment in our society. On the other hand, we are still willing let gender inequality become the elephant in the room. The harmed woman still fears to speak out and the woman who has been discriminated against still feels that her concerns will never be addressed. This is a critical moment for all of us who are following the feminist movement. This is a critical moment for all those who care for the advancement of humanity.

This is our moment. We must proudly proclaim the central ideology of feminism, to uphold the equal status of men and women in every regard, in the ear of this planet. We must let our voices and conversations ring in the heart of every individual. If we remain silent today, we may never again have the chance to speak aloud. We must do everything in our power to save this opportunity. The opportunity of feminism.

By: MARGARET LU, May 15, 2017.