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A Day Without Feminism

“Imagine what our lives would have been if the women’s movement had never happened…” Jennifer Baumardner and Amy Richards begin their essay by asking their readers to imagine a day without feminism. What would the world be like today and has it changed at all since? Baumardner and Richards continuously speak of feminism and the feminism movement. Why is the feminist movement being taken for granted? Baumardner and Richard are able to effectively reach out the significance of feminism but were not successful in reaching out their beliefs throughout their essay.

Baumardner and Richard follow the feminism progression throughout their essay. They compare women’s roles to men’s and the differences they have brought about to society today. They express the different difficulties that women faced throughout the journey. Baumardner and Richard provide many examples about feminism including women receiving their right to vote, women’s roles in society compared to men, colored women being either “not there” or “lonely as hell.”  They also mention how women’s history is does not truly exist and are not worth studying. For example, she mentions Sojourner Truth, Mary Church Terrell, and Fannie Lou Hamer. Students will learn that they were black abolitionists or civil rights leaders. However, they will not learn that they were feminists. Men on the other hand, such as Columbus, are worth studying and are highly spoken of. Columbus now has a nationally recognized day dedicated to his discovery of America. Women’s histories are not recognized the way men are.  As both authors are capable of proving, if these were men, they would be worth studying and recognizing. But because they are women, they are black abolitionists and civil rights leaders, not feminists.

Baumardner and Richard continue their essay by stating the differences between women and men’s jobs including their pay. “Only 44 percent of women are employed outside the home. And those women make, on average, fifty-two cents to the dollar earned by males.” Women were not looked at as highly as men were with their jobs. Because of that, they were paid less. They sometimes performed the same work, but did not receive the same pay. Females were more wanted for secretary, domestic workers, and low wage service jobs. However, men were wanted for higher wage service jobs as well as highly spoken of jobs including jobs in the medical and law field.

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