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Conservative feminists silenced

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Conservative feminists silenced

Samantha Williams (12) proudly wears a hoodie that says “feminist.”

Samantha Williams (12) proudly wears a hoodie that says “feminist.”

Courtney Mitchell

Samantha Williams (12) proudly wears a hoodie that says “feminist.”

Courtney Mitchell

Courtney Mitchell

Samantha Williams (12) proudly wears a hoodie that says “feminist.”

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Feminists want equality. Feminists want equal pay and representation. They want an end to sexual harassment. Feminists want the right to an abortion and the right to live promiscuously. If you are a feminist reading this, you probably agreed with the first three statements. Perhaps you agreed with the last as well. But maybe you didn’t because you do not believe these liberal ideologies, and that is okay. It’s okay to be a conservative feminist. So why does society say otherwise?

The Oxford dictionary defines feminism as the “advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes.” Many who consider themselves feminists cite this definition as the reason why they are feminists.

“[I am a feminist] because I think inequality on any level is wrong, and I think women work just as hard as men [but] earn less,” Samantha Williams (12) said.

Others go beyond this definition and use their feminism to promote not just female equality but empowerment as well.

“I’ve been harassed; I’ve been scared to go for walks outside or to walk to my car at night,” Cali Harper (12) said. “I’ve felt ashamed of my body… and I’ve watched myself and many other girls try unhealthy diets in attempt to look like what we never could.”

While most all feminists share these core beliefs, the divide occurs when topics like abortion and sexual promiscuity come into play. Mainstream feminists are often pro-choice liberals who  believe that women have the right to wear and do what they want, and have as many relationships as they please. Conservative feminists however, are usually pro-life and have religious views against sexual promiscuity. Instead of accepting these differences, however, the largely publicized liberal feminist voices can overshadow more conservative views.

“I grew up really religious, so I am morally against abortions,” a student who wished to remain unnamed said. “But I still consider myself a feminist. I want equal pay and rights [for women], but I’ve heard people say I’m not a true feminist because I go against the liberal feminist agenda.”

Feminism is a movement that fights for all women no matter if they are black, white, gay, straight, rich or poor. The movement should also fight for both conservatives and liberals. Women face enough opposition from empowered men; we cannot afford to oppose one another as well. At the end of the day, all women want essentially the same thing:

Equality. Just equality in everything; that’s it,” Williams said. “We are superheroes too.”

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Conservative feminists silenced