Letter to the Editor: Student urges women to break free of gender roles

To the editor:

Every time I associate myself with feminism I use a sarcastic tone or retract the statement with "I'm just kidding!" I have to turn feminism into a joke to be taken seriously as a person and as a woman. It has become a four-letter word more offensive than "slut."

Feminism may be taboo because of its stereotypes of the past-man-hating and extreme. It need not be something to be ashamed of. It is our right to defend ourselves. Undeniably, women are treated as inferior beings by both men and women. It is only less than a century ago women fought for and achieved suffrage. Women's rights have progressed healthily since then. Recently, however, recently the fight has been abandoned.

It has been abandoned partly because the problems are subtle and subconscious, making them more difficult to approach. The real problem lies in the complications of sexuality and submission. Sexism and gender roles are embedded in flirting and other everyday interactions. Frequently, females compromise their wits or talents for attraction, while it is typical for a male to flaunt his capabilities, intellectually or otherwise. Masculine qualities are praised while feminine qualities are trivialized. It is horrible "to throw like a girl" but it is totally chill if you can be "one of the guys."

Historically, women are the submissive sex, complacent and docile, qualities still perceived as sexy or cute. Multiple times I have seen girls acting stupid or incapable in front of guys. They are dumbing themselves down to gain the attention of the opposite sex because they know that these actions will be met with positive male reactions. This is the one thing we should be fighting against-weakness in women should not be a distinct and attractive characteristic. Females have a fear of being desexualized if they stand up for themselves. However, if no one plays into this gender role we will not have to hear anyone whine "shut up!" in a baby voice ever again.

Kerry Goleski