It is estimated that around 30 percent of A&E visits by women each year are the result of injuries from domestic violence. Is the feminist movement to blame for this? Or is it the submissive nature of these women? Famous novelist and writer Rachel Cusk once said ‘It is living, not thinking, as a feminist that has become the challenge’ perhaps outlining that being part of the feminist movement in the twenty-first century has become no less than an internal battle for the women of today.

But even now, with political instabilities and economic downfalls, women continue to stand up against discrimination and sexual abuse to fight for freedom and to put an end to the sexist barriers placed hundreds of years ago. Countries all over the world have taken action to inspire change and promote societies filled with promise for women. Women’s rights organizations have continued to work to ensure that gender equality is achieved in all parts of society, making the world seem slightly more closer to the utopia oppressed women dream of.

However, even in the more liberal society we live in today it is argued that the feminist movement is pointless and is doing more harm than good for women with on average, two women a week killed by a current or former male partner. Although statistics show that there are many other countries in the world where female abuse is higher, recent research has come to show that around 85,000 women are raped in the UK every year and 400,000 sexually assaulted. So is it wrong for these women to demand protection and support through feminist movements? It seems as if we are living in a society that encourages men to see women as sex objects from an early age through media and advertisement, with the older generation (who are supposed to be role models) passing sexist comments on women’s bodies.

Some say that the feminist revolution allowed women to pursue a career and gain their own independence and freedom.  Despite this, many argue that the newly gained freedom of these women is damaging for the country and themselves. It’s hard to think that with the world caught up in the midst of the ‘white heat’ of modernisation, there are still traditional sexist barriers holding women down.

‘Sexism is a social disease’ a famous quote by a not so famous author, describing the sexist plague in no less than five words. Feminists argue that it must be a very dangerous epidemic if sexism is limiting the progress of the world, making feminists seem like messiahs for the average oppressed housewife.

However, the question still remains. Do conflict and feminism go hand in hand? It seems as if every step of progress for the feminist movement brings a clash of conflict for society. Perhaps that is why Margaret Mead famously said ‘Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man’ suggesting that the feminist movement is not only for the welfare of women, but of men as well. The unification of both sexes is key to ensuring gender equality. It is no secret that throughout history women have been regarded as second-class citizens, deemed unworthy of equal rights. With countless revolutions and social movements carried out by men and women alike, it is of prime importance to enlighten others of the need to have a society that accepts opportunities for women; a society that channels its energies towards nurturing justice and equality, and a society that considers the needs of everyone.

BY: Shameen Khan

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