In interviews conducted in the Washington, D.C. area, conflicting ideas about the importance of feminism emerged. Opinions on certain topics were agreed upon by all, specifically the wage gap in America between men and women.
“Women of color are paid even less than white women and I think that’s wrong,” said Michelle Nowak, 19, an advocate for the Human Rights Campaign.
The oppression of women of color and the struggles they face in particular were also touched on by Mone Williams, 21.
“I don’t think that any other race or gender can do anything better than another,” Williams said.
Modern feminist issues go beyond the wage gap, also encompassing the right to have an abortion and raising awareness about the hyper-sexualization of women, especially in advertising and the film industry.
Throughout history, feminists have worked to gain women’s rights and become equal with men, their most well-known success being in the suffragist movement to gain women’s voting rights. When asked about the future of feminism, of the 10 people interviewed, all believed that feminists will continue to fight for their cause.
Dr. Nicole Cox, a professor of mass media at Valdosta State University in Georgia, believes that both raising awareness about feminism and spreading the goals of the movement are vital to ensure it continues to grow.
“I think that it’s more accessible for the younger generation,” Cox said. On the topic of complete gender equality, Cox added, “I don’t think it’s going to happen in the next five years, but maybe 10 or 15.”
A few people interviewed did not believe that feminism in today’s world is necessary, or believed that those who advocate for it and call themselves feminists are too intense in their endeavors.
“Feminists just tend to take it a little far,” said 19-year old Dana Foley.
The majority of those interviewed, however, viewed feminism and its goals in a positive light, although most agreed that the struggle for equality is far from over.
“I think the movement itself has a real challenge in terms of defining what it wants,” said Jermall Keels, 19. Later, he added, “I think our generation is just a really social movement-driven generation.”