Today marks the 94th anniversary of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. It's such a monumental day, but I think 94 years later, some people still don't get what women's equality means.
The way I see it, our generation thinks that women's equality - that feminism - is about sexuality. The right to flaunt one's body and not be objectified, the right to be intimate and not be labeled a slut, the right to own one's body when making decisions about reproduction. I don't disagree (to some extent) that women should be able to act and do with their bodies whatever their male counterparts do. But I am frustrated that women are missing the point.
Feminism is not about equal sexual freedoms. Feminism is about so much more.
The rights our suffragette sisters fought for in the early 1900's weren't so we would not be called sluts. They fought for our right to use our brain. To grow and develop as people. To have the same opportunities for land and advancement and votes as our brothers had already. They fought for the right to be seen as more than an object.
Women have always been objectified. We were in the 1900's and we are today, but back then men did it to us and now women do it to themselves and call it "equality" and "power." We call that feminism. When Beyonce performs on a stage with a pole in a sparkling body suit, while her own spoken word about her right to be sexual plays in the background, all while the word feminism is in bold behind her, that is not feminism.
Women's equality is supposed to usher in a society that is built around not objectifying anyone, whether a women did it on her own or a man did it to her.
Historians and scholars say the third wave of feminism hasn't fully happened yet. I'd like the third wave of feminism to be one where women own, embrace, fight for, and defend their brains. I'd like for women themselves to fully realize (and show) that they are more than their bodies; they are their minds. Smart is sexy. But smart also proves that we don't have to strive for sexy any longer. We can strive for brave, intelligent, powerful, entrepreneurial, classy, professional, kind, and wise.
I'd like us, as a culture, to no longer define Beyonce as the poster woman for feminism. I think Susan B. Anthony would agree.