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The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

Social media bends the true meaning of feminism

Hannah Wheeler

Social media is the main reason feminism is perceived the way it is today. Some see the feminist movement as a frivolous way to conspire against men, while others acknowledge the magnitude it can have on combatting sexism. Often, feminism is overgeneralized. Many people jump to conclusions, giving all sorts of labels to feminists despite the fact that feminism is an incredibly complex movement that has increased gender equality around the world.

Regardless of the difference of opinion that women make online, when they are taking a stand, they open themselves up to harassment simply because they are women standing up for themselves. They can be given labels like angry, dramatic, and emotional.

Simple jokes about a woman’s appearance, sexualizing her or even claiming she is a man-hating extremist are all common ways that people invalidate feminists. Because of this, many women are scared to speak up about their experiences. Unicef USA shows how “the media sends the message that girls should be pretty, not powerful; noticed, not respected. And this is incredibly harmful, not just to a girl and her development, but to our culture at large.”

One of the only ways for women to get recognized or even acknowledged on social media platforms or workplaces is to have the privilege of an attractive appearance. Alongside the stigma of beauty standards in the U.S. beginning at a very young age, many women feel the need to perform, from seeing beautiful models online to seeing faces warped through filters. Women who don’t comply with these beauty standards often won’t be treated the same. An experiment from Forbes showed that the pressure for women to meet beauty standards can also be found to be linked with sexism. When there are intense social pressures that turn the desire to pursue beauty into a mandate rather than a free choice, these beauty practices become an obligation that women feel they must execute.

While some people believe that the feminist movement only targets men as the problem, it doesn’t mean that women can’t contribute to sexism as well. Many women distance themselves from each other or insult one another to be taken more seriously by men, whether this be in a working or personal environment. The term “pick me” has become an increasingly common insult to other women. The term originated online, and it is used against women who put others down for a man’s validation or approval. These women might value men’s opinions much more, giving in to the empowerment of men and the downfall of other women.

While women can demonstrate sexism, many simply do not do it intentionally. Numerous women have unknowingly been trained in their early years to subconsciously confirm patriarchal values. The stages of growth between a tween and a teenager is a very vulnerable time. When they grow up always being told what they can or cannot do, they create an image of what they should do in life. It is frequently told that a woman isn’t capable of a man’s business position or that a man shouldn’t do what women have always done for them like cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children. According to the University of Missouri, “As independent as we think we may be, we have many preconceived notions about how a woman should exist that stem from societal expectations and gender norms.”

To a large extent, feminism is a very all-embracing subject. The early years of life are the most formative years when a child learns and starts to build habits. Understanding and learning how to prevent misogynistic ideals and internalized sexism is one way to take action. Having a strong voice by challenging misogynistic ideas can make a difference. Bring an end to doubting what a woman says just because of her gender. Stop giving in to the media and its ignorant ideas. Just one voice can change the idea of someone else, it starts with one person.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Wheeler
Hannah Wheeler, Reporter
Hannah Wheeler, a new staff member and freshman loves to write for her journalism class. She enjoys interviewing people and writing stories for the Lancer Link. In her free time, she likes playing electric guitar and hanging out with her friends.

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