Who Needs Feminism?

HelloGiggles’ Ruby Karp continues to astound me. This morning I read the 6th grader’s commentary on a blog called “Who Needs Feminism,” started by people at Duke University. The site features posts of people holding signs that describe why they need feminism. Ruby’s comments on why she needs feminism, and why she supports the blog, prompted me to reflect on why I need feminism. Why everyone does.

One (of many) reason I need feminism is because I am a female writer. Throughout college I not only had to deal with comments that I picked an easy major, I was told I picked a girly major (I graduated in four years with a double major: Communication Journalism and English with a writing emphasis–nothing easy about that). As a female hoping to go into magazine journalism and creative non-fiction, I was not serious, but girly. Unlike many males I knew who were considered “serious” as they chose to pursue broadcast journalism (something I greatly respect).

Did you know that in the 2010-2011 television season only 15 percent of the writers of broadcast network, prime-time programs were women? Or that nearly three-fourths of literary reviewers and reviewees in the most prestigious publications in 2010 were men? Honestly, just Google “statistics on female writers” and you open the floodgates on the under-coverage of female writers and the statistics compiled by the VIDA (women in literary arts). Many female writers are dismissed as writing “Women’s fiction.” I need feminism because the phrase “women’s fiction” shouldn’t make people think of writing that is of lesser quality and importance.

As a female writer I deserve the same opportunity, status and coverage as a male writer.

So, why do you need feminism?

Thank you, Ruby. You gave me a lot to think about.

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