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The President of the Feminism Club’s Thoughts on “Feminazis”

Julianna Santella

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Emily Cruz, president of the Manhasset High School Feminism Club, who recently was accepted into Princeton University, shared her views on Feminism and current politics.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of Feminism simply means, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” This may be surprising to some, as in today’s society feminism is often associated with the misconception that women who identify as ‘Feminists’ hate men and want women to dominate the world. According to Pam Johnston of the Huffington Post, the misconception is something along the lines of, “Feminists hate men because men don’t like unshaven hags. Feminists think men are basically pigs. Feminists think the world would be a better place if they were in charge of everything and men just disappeared.”

Cruz shared her thoughts on this, as well as her own meaning of Feminism: “It’s just false. Feminisms are anyone, woman or man, who believes in the equality of the genders. Feminism means that, no matter where, no matter who, every single person has equal opportunity. Regardless, of gender, race, sexuality, any differences. Opinions like this are simply formed from ignorance.” She has also shared that she has experienced ridicule first hand for being an outspoken Feminist. “The Feminist instagram, and Feminist posters around the school frequently are tarnished with anti-Feminist and ‘Feminazi’ sentiments. Personally, I’ve gotten a few rude remarks but nothing too extreme,” Cruz shared.

Cruz attributes her passionate Feminist sentiments to growing up with a strong female figure in her life, her mother. “I think I was also a Feminist due to the fact that I have such a strong woman figure in my life. My mom was a senior vice president at Chase, and has also worked so hard and had such great opportunities, growing up and seeing her, I couldn’t fathom the underlying oppression of women that was present not only in corporate America, but in every crevice of the American public.”

Cruz continued to share another personal experience that resulted in her becoming a passionate Feminist was just growing up and experiencing sexism herself, as well as watching her friends go through the same struggle: “Another experience that drew me to Feminism was growing up, and seeing and hearing about my friends being objectified verbally, or hurt in worse ways… I couldn’t stand seeing my female friends being deemed as lesser and ‘controllable’ without doing something about it.”

Besides her mother, Cruz also shared some of her favorite Feminist figures of our history that helped inspire her to become an outspoken Feminist. “Hatshepsut. She was the first woman Pharaoh in Egypt, and she was extremely successful. I remember learning about her in 5th grade social studies, and she was really one of the first women with complete power who I had learned about. When I learned about her and how she controlled egypt, I knew that I could do anything…Other figures would include major women scientists such as Rosalind Franklin.”

Cruz also shared her personal opinions on current politics and the Trump administration. One of the current controversies of the Trump Administration is their view on Birth Control. According to Planned Parenthood, “Despite the fact that birth control is essential health care and the key to women’s economic and social advancement, the Trump administration is hell-bent on getting rid of access to it.” Planned Parenthood has also titled one of their articles, “The Trump Administration Wants to Take Away Women’s Rights.” Cruz shared her own opinion on the issue: “Women should have control of their own bodies, period. Birth control is something that should be available to women, low cost, in order to ensure a more productive society. By inhibiting 50% of members of society from having control over their bodies and their lives, the administration would be decrease the potentially economic profit from having women in the workforce. If it is banned, women will also try to gain access to it illegally, which would be extremely dangerous for the health of these women as these pills would not be regulated… in taking away a woman’s right to control her body, you are taking away her ability to provide for herself. She will be able to have no livelihood, besides for being a homemaker, which is absolutely fine if that’s a woman’s choice, however a women’s right is taken away if that is her only choice.”

There have also been countless amounts of women coming out about their own personal experiences with sexual assault by men in positions of authority. Just a fraction of these accused men include Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly, etc. The hashtag #MeToo has also been trending on social media platforms such as Twitter, in which women shared countless experiences with sexual assault. Cruz responded to these recent events: “I am really happy, that women are now gaining the confidence that they need to fight about sexual assault. I only hope that this trend continues until sexual assault is eliminated.”

The Women’s Rights movement has been in the works for centuries now, but according to almost all Feminists there is still much work to be done despite how much progress has been made. Cruz shared her personal opinion on the number one priority of the gender equality movement.  “Education. It is ignorance that breeds hate and opposition. By educating people, especially young people, hopefully we can change the culture instead of just changing policy.”

 

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The student news site of Manhasset High School in Manhasset, New York
The President of the Feminism Club’s Thoughts on “Feminazis”