There are some who argue feminism is over. For them, the battle has been won and anyone still carrying on about that "dirty" eight-letter word must be a man-hating, lipstick-shaming woman with a chip on her shoulder. Sure, women are no longer considered the chattel of their husbands and we can be found in the both the voting booth and the board room, but do those advancements really mean the work is over? The short answer is no and it's easy to see why we still need feminism — just look to the sexist undertones often found in news headlines.
While women may be in the workplace in higher numbers than ever before, the gender pay gap persists. While women can now open a credit card on their own, our bodies and reproductive rights are controlled by a governmental body still dominated by men. Around the world, women are told what to wear and how to behave.
Even more disturbing are the ways women are often depicted, judged, and condemned in mainstream media. Coverage of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, for example, was a prime example of the sexism women continue to face. And although the blatantly sexist headlines brought to us during the Olympics sparked public outcry, sexism still undercuts more than a few headlines each week.
Here are nine headlines from the past week to remind you why we still need feminism, starting with Hillary Clinton's pneumonia, which sparked a series of offensive headlines, proving far too many people have a sick obsession with seeing powerful women stumble.
"Hillary Clinton Stumbles — Will Her Campaign Follow?"
The implication that a woman falling ill will lead to her eventual downfall is downright absurd.
"Hacking Hillary: Clinton's Cough Becomes Latest Flash Point In US Presidential Election"
"Hacking Hillary," really? We're criticizing a presidential candidate for coughing — something we've all been guilty of at one point or another!
"Hillary Clinton's Pneumonia Shows Running For President Is A Hazardous Job"
I'm not sure when getting sick became so stigmatized, but I've yet to see one article expressing concern over Trump's ability to survive the presidency while also taking medication to lower his cholesterol.
There were other political moments around the world this week that also spurred sexist headlines.
"Hollande's Actress Girlfriend Fronts Anti-Sexism Campaign"
Ironically, an article about sexism kicks off with a sexist headline. Does she not have a name, or has she changed it to "Hollande's actress girlfriend?"(It's Julie Gayet, if you're wondering.)
"MP Has 'Basic Instinct' Moment With Sultry Sharon Stone-Style Leg Cross During PMQs"
But sexist undertones continually creep into headlines outside the political pages too, as shown by these gems pulled from the lifestyle, culture, sports, and entertainment pages.
"Being Married Can Help You Stay Slim. Researchers Find Single People Are Twice As Likely To Be Overweight"
At least now I can blame these extra 10 pounds on the fact that my boyfriend hasn't proposed.
Girls 'Aren't Strong Enough To Say No'
Sigh. Just don't. Not even if it's a direct quote.
"Madonna's Daughter Lourdes Parades Inked-Up Body In Short Skirt And Plunging Vest"
For the record, Lourdes appears to have one, tiny tattoo. But even if she had a dozen tattoos, even if she was covered head to toe in ink, it still wouldn't be acceptable to use the phrase "parades inked-up body in short skirt and plunging vest" to describe her as if her worth is somehow diminished because of the clothing she wears or the ink she puts on her skin.
"How Will 'Pitch' Cater To The Hard-Core Baseball Fan Expecting Authenticity While Still Appealing To Women?"
Because a hard-core baseball fan could never be a woman. That's just preposterous!
For anyone who still needs a wake-up call, here it is. The work toward true gender equality is far from over. Feminism is needed as much today as it was when the first wave hit in 1848.