How to Become Involved in Seeking Gender Equality (With Recommended Reading) | Teen Ink

How to Become Involved in Seeking Gender Equality (With Recommended Reading)

August 19, 2023
By keine_ahnung GOLD, Omaha, Nebraska
keine_ahnung GOLD, Omaha, Nebraska
13 articles 2 photos 1 comment

Gender inequality is a persistent issue in American society and in all countries around the world. It may feel daunting to become involved or to even grasp an understanding of numerous feminist movements. Especially in a country that has made many advancements for women, it may feel simple to state that sexism is over or minimal. However, this is not the case and ignoring the remaining problems is dangerous. Here's how to understand and join the feminist causes:


1. Recognize the institutional and societal discrimination that leads to sexism

Sexism is not just in men who objectify women or in an employer who fires a pregnant person. It is important to realize that sexism has roots. Lingering biases against women and decades of economic disadvantage for women affect the current positions and perceptions of women. When sexism's history and causes are acknowledged, it is harder to paint women as merely "playing victims" when they mention sexism. 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg


2. Explore different branches of feminism

While most people are familiar with white, "mainstream" feminism, there are other branches to explore. Some branches vary from white feminism based on having a more extreme political view in their activism. Some branches reject white feminism because of its lack of inclusion of marginalized women and femmes. There have also been numerous feminist "waves," or movements across history.

Feminism Is... by D.K. Publishing

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall


3. Understand the intersectionality of the feminine experience

In the numerous branches of feminism, intersectional feminism and womanism are two main branches that center women of color in their fight for gender equality. The fight for gender equality will end up only being the fight for white women's gender equality without considering other movements. 

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao


4. Identify how sexism affects everyday attitudes

You already learned how sexism has roots in our society's history. In order to address these inequalities, you must learn how modern sexism plays out. One way is through our societal attitudes and perceptions towards women. Why is a woman a "slut" while a man is a "player?" Why are women seen as "too emotional" for political office? Why are there persisting stereotypes about Black women being "promiscuous?" In exploring and noticing these attitudes, you can better understand the past's effect on our present, and what must be done

- [ficton] Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

- [fiction] Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-joo

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates


5. Identify how sexism affects everyday actions

Along with everyday perceptions of women, actions towards women and femme people also draw on institutional sexism. For instance, sexual violence against women and girls is high partially because of societal attitudes that condone it. The attitude that femme people "are asking for it [sexual violence]," excuses the perpetrator. The effect of sexist ideas on everyday actions must be noticed.

- Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

- [fiction] Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu


6. Take action!

With this new information and understanding, start fighting sexism! Join or support organizations that fight against sexist legislation. For instance, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU fight abortion bans. When you're voting, vote for candidates and bills that support femme people and their rights. Support femme people in fighting against sexist rules in your workplace or school. Confront your own biases, and educate others on what you have learned. In all of this, remember to keep intersectional feminism in mind! With any activism, you will learn more about the inequality you are fighting!

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