This election proves we still need feminism

Giselle Suazo

There is a common misconception that women in developed nations are equal to men because they attend college, have careers, run their own businesses, etc. This fallacy was amplified among those ignorant enough to believe it when America secured its first ever female presidential candidate. People grew annoyed at women protesting the wage gap and waved away their complaints against sexual harassment.

“You’ve made it!” they said. “There’s probably going to be a woman president, how can you say we’re not equal?”

Because we’re not, we do not yet live in a postfeminist society — where men and women are treated as equals. Hillary Clinton getting this close to winning the presidential electiois just a crack in a very thick glass ceiling.

To say that we live in a postfeminist society would be to ignore the fact that white women still make 78 cents to a man’s dollar, and the U.S. is one out of two countries to not ensure paid maternity leave to new mothers. Not to mention that in 2015 alone, almost 400 bills were introduced by state lawmakers to restrict women’s access to abortion: 47 of those bills became state law.

Hillary Clinton had already achieved more than a woman could have imagined before she became the Democratic party’s candidate. She spoke about her experience dealing with inequality and overcoming those obstacles. Clinton also called equal rights for women and girls the “greatest unfinished business of the 21st century.”

“When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit,” Clinton said during her nomination acceptance speech. “So let’s keep going — let’s keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have.”

Those ceilings still hover over us when #repealthe19th becomes a trending topic, politicians try to reach women with belittling ads and boasting about sexually assaulting women continues to be swept under the rug only to be revisited when convenient. These are just a handful of the many issues that women still face today — and will continue to face even after Nov. 8.

Clinton and women everywhere have undoubtedly come a long way and we would not have the freedom we relish in now if it wasn’t for the struggle of women throughout our history. But our work is not done, we must follow in the footsteps of women before us and continue pushing our way to achieve true equality. The road isn’t always easy, but it is better traveled with company.

Suazo is a communication studies major from Honduras. Follow her on Twitter @giselle_suazo.