Dear Future Madam or Mr. President,
The word "feminism" has for generations possessed a negative connotation, commonly considered a term coined to refer to radical, man-hating women, who opt to "burn their bras" instead of contribute their inherent duties to society. This definition of feminism is not only completely false, but paints the true meaning of feminism-- political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, to somehow be a "radical" notion, because to many, feminism is considered "radical" term. However, most would not consider gender equality in the United States as being unwarranted, unnecessary, or radical, so why is feminism?
A common trend throughout history is as societies, civilizations, empires, and now countries, become more complex they also subsequently become more patriarchal as the traditional roles for men become "important," and the traditional roles for women become more restrictive, often confining females to the domestic sphere. Though the justifications behind these stereotypical gender roles vary, the common theme throughout all patriarchal societies remains prevalent, and that is gender inequality is based off of misconceptions, or stereotypes about women. These misconceptions are the root behind all patriarchy, and though forms of patriarchy differ, misconceptions ultimately remain the most prominent root of sexism. Thus, by breaking these misconceptions, we will greatly contribute in breaking the cycle of female oppression.
Misconceptions have eroded the otherwise principled legacy of the United States from being a nation of equality for all, into misconstrued ideas of "us" and "them." This disunity can be seen by examining virtually any controversial issues regarding politics right now, from the Black Lives Matters movement, to the issue of immigration, to Native American land conservation, to terrorism. All of these issues can be rooted to intolerance, largely between different ethnicities and values, intolerance attributed to misconceptions, or stereotypes about groups of people. These stereotypes create a divide, and quickly deteriorate principals of equality for all, not equality just for a limited, elite few.
Misconceptions specifically pertaining to women, though, remain one of the most urgent issues that needs to be addressed, because women are not an oppressed minority, they are an oppressed majority. There are more females than males in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which in 2003 calculated there to be 144 million females in the U.S. compared to only 138 million males. The population since then has only increased, resulting in more females, but no fewer stereotypes pertaining to them. This current election is only further proof of the extreme double standard between men and women through the portrayal of the media and in politics. Since women comprise roughly half the population of the United States, they therefore should theoretically account for creating half of the innovations, holding half the C.E.O positions, contributing to half the G.D.P of the United States, and arguably most importantly, represent half of the United States elected government, yet the for some reason women cannot account for half of any of these rights; the only "right" they possess is half of the equality of that of men.
Since the most blatant examples of patriarchy spur from stereotypes, the logical solution would be to crush stereotypes, but of course, that is much easier said than done. One of the most prominent reasons why patriarchy has remained so prevalent throughout time is because it is rooted in societal norms, and social norms are they hardest to break because they are integral to identity. However, by narrowing in to focusing specifically on the word "feminism" and its authentic meaning, we find a good starting ground. After all, what is a better starting place for eradicating gender inequality than eradicating the stereotypes behind the term. Feminism simply means the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. There is nothing radical about equality, thus there is nothing radical about feminism. By challenging the stereotypes behind the meaning of feminism, we are taking the necessary step to challenging gender inequality. So, Madam or Mr. President, when you are sitting in your coveted oval office, holding a tremendous amount of power. Please remember, that for women equality is not a privilege, it is a right.
With utmost respect,