Advanced Essay #3 Wes Midgett

Intro - 

In the beginning, my goals were for this paper to explore a side of me that I never really have before. Although this writing process was sort of non-existent I discovered things about feminism both within myself and out in society through research. The one thing about my essay is that I wished it was more personal.

Essay -

It all began in the year of 2013 when Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines was released and was a major hit on all of the radio stations. I heard it going to and from school all the time and I always thought it was super catchy but I didn’t really know what the song was about. However, that all changed one day when I was in the car with my step-mother, the feminist, and she was ranting about how the song was normalizing rape and in a way that everyone can enjoy. A few weeks later I was at a family and friends party and Blurred Lines came on. I started to get really angry when everyone was dancing and singing along and asked them if they knew what it was about. They said they did, but it was ok for us to listen because they were feminists. But how could they listen to such a degrading and oppressive song and still consider themselves feminists?

In an article from Vice magazine, Monica Potts talks about what it was like to grow up being one of the only feminists in redneck country. Potts talks about how people in her town would make sexist jokes and remarks and many people would just laugh but she would feel uneasy about it. Similar to my Blurred Lines story, Potts deals with being surrounded by normalized sexism and misogyny in her community, although mine is a little lower scale.  I believe that this kind of upbringing can affect anyone’s identity, it just depends on where they go with it. Potts says in her article that “The subtle messages women pick up starting from an early age are part of the reason women become nurses instead of doctors, and teachers instead of engineers.” This quote tells us a lot about how being a feminist can get you further than you would have if you had not been. Engineers and doctors are normally roles taken by men. However, any woman can become head of a male dominated career with feminism by proving that her abilities are just as valid as any man.

Even though feminism in the end is how you see yourself, in this day and age it is hard not to be influenced by what we see in media and through social interaction. Being a feminist can put you at the top of some social pyramids and on the very bottom of others. According to a recent Harvard study “While young Americans have strong opinions on gender advantages, however, they appear to reject labels. Only 27 percent of young Americans consider themselves feminists (16 percent of men and 37 percent of women). However, 49 percent of those polled "support" feminism.” The entire meaning behind “supporting feminism” has never been fully clear to me. However, this is what I get from it; If you support feminism you can see the reasoning behind it, but can’t fully commit to it yourself, and if you are a full-fledged feminist you support the ideas and reasoning behind feminism. Anyways, So being a feminist and learning that only 27 percent of the young U.S. citizens are feminists made me feel as though I was some sort of minority, especially that the other 73 percent either support feminism or are not feminists. In another article the author states “She is focused on getting women into boardrooms and into high-level jobs, doing away with the idea that there's something wrong with women being bosses or ‘bossy.’” This idea that women are “bossy” when really they’re just doing their jobs is another reason for women to let feminism affect their identity. “Bossy” is such a negative word that as soon as most women hear it being used to describe them they back down and let men take the stand. Though, there are the few who simply reply with “insert clever feminist remark here” and continue with doing the jobs they were hired to do.

To finish off this essay, In the end feminism impacts my identity by giving myself and other women a choice. A choice to stand up for myself and the women around me or to let men rule our society. Being a feminist has helped me get so many places in my life and to quote Alayna Welker, “Because of feminism we can strive to be who we wish to be regardless of our gender.” Who doesn’t want to be what they wished to be? a57459/harvard-iop-poll-gender/ minism-isnt-bad-word w-trumps-america-will-hurt-women