After reading “A Day without Feminism”, I literally said aloud, “Wow, I’ve taken so many things for granted”. I’m pretty sure my roommate thinks I’m strange for this sudden outburst, but it really shocked me to see how far the women’s movement has taken our society in such a short amount time. In the last paragraph, the question is asked “Has feminism changed our lives? ” The answer to that question is yes. I grew up attending a child-care center, playing in Little League, and taking the classes that everyone in my class took whether male or female.
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were what we liked to call “grandma” books. I won two softball State Championships on the varsity level. I took pre-calculus and calculus, while planning prom and decorating the gym. Girls and young women DO have sex while they’re unmarried (on a pretty frequent basis too). When I make a trip the gynecologist, she always tells me the side effects of my birth control choices. Rarely a day goes by without hearing of another girl who’s decided to explore the lesbian lifestyle. With this being said it’s clear the world I inhabit barely resembles the world these women were born into.
Some of these situations that took place just under forty years ago seem completely outrageous. It’s really hard to believe women actually let things like this happen. Examples that stick out in my mind the most include women being “strapped down and lying down, made to have the child against gravity for the doctor’s convenience” and a woman going “under the knife to see if she has breast cancer” and “waking up to find that the choice (Halsted mastectomy) has been made for her”. The conditions of my childhood compared to things like this happening add an overall shock effect in this reading.
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Although there is such a large shock effect present, I do not feel as if Baumgardner and Richards wanted the shock to overwhelm the reader in a way that seemed outrageous, but they wanted make the reader realize that it would be unfair to consider these advancements as privileges. Privileges are advantages gained usually as a result of wealth or social status, not something fought hard to earn. It’s unfair that we (women) are constantly made to feel that we should be thankful for the social changes that have taken place over the last century. These rights should have never been an issue.
They should’ve just been a part of our daily lives, as they were for males. Baumgardner and Richards ask the questions in the second paragraph “Is feminism dead? ” and “Do we need new strategies? ” I feel like the spirit of feminism isn’t dead at all. One milestone, which sticks out clearly in my mind as part of the feminist movement, took place just a short time ago. This milestone occurred around the time that Hilary Clinton entered herself into the race for presidency. It was one of those mountains a woman needed to climb and Hilary Clinton was the first do so. I’m definitely not trying to put Hilary Clinton on a high pedestal.
I realize there are many other women who have done phenomenal things over the past thirty years, but it’s just one major example in the progress of feminism I have noticed in my short eighteen years on earth. To answer the second question, I don’t feel like the strategies need to be changed. With writings such as “A Day without Feminism” floating around and women running for presidency and vice-presidency, I have no doubt that feminism will remain alive until the ultimate goal has been reached. In conclusion, it is essential for us to see change is part of every history and culture.
The feministic changes that have been made in the United States were necessary and there is still a lot left to do. After reading “A Day without Feminism” it’s clear to see our mothers and grandmothers worked hard to make sure we would we would someday reach an even plateau with men and it’s our job to make sure the same is true for future women raised in this country. We should celebrate our female foremothers who had the vision that we should have more. Women have fought for everything we have and we need to continue to the good fight so that one day women will no longer need to fight this fight.
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