Rosie the Riveter
"This is a man's world, this is a man's world.
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl."
Men and women are genetically different from each other, which is perfectly logical from the perspective of evolution and adaptation. During the earliest age in history, men were hunters while women were gatherers. As these roles were assigned to people based on gender, primitive societies significantly increased their survivability and chances of thriving. This labor division is the very first that shaped how the two sexes, despite sharing the same evolutionary course, developed their own distinctive traits both physically and emotionally. Until this day, the results are nothing other than conspicuous. Predominantly, men are stronger, bolder and more practical. Women are softer, more sentimental and caring. Although the hunter-gatherer relationship is long gone, men and women are still judged, assigned tasks and expected to behave like how their same-sex predecessors have always been told to. The fact that this "gender code" is one of the backbones of society doesn't in the least undermine its partial obsolescence. This very overgeneralization and also social expectations are what caused gender inequality, mostly among women.  

From countries with a long-standing history of prejudice like India, China, Saura Arabia and Vietnam to lands of fairness and justice such as Japan, male privilege persists. Why do women have to leave their jobs to become homemakers for husbands to advance their careers? Why are women so frequently sexualized and insulted in rap songs? Why do some universities tamper with contestants' scores to ensure a lower female admission rate? Why are men better paid than women in the same position? When men and women compete for the same job with identical applications, in more than half of the cases, men are preferred. Is there concrete scientific evidence supporting this bias? Or is it simply a dangerous misconception?

From the resistance to such discrimination rose Feminism: a modern worldwide movement tirelessly fighting for equal rights and equal opportunities for women.

Since the Declaration of Sentiments, female lives across the globe have been vastly improved. Discriminatory policies and practices against women in Africa are being abolished as governments have guaranteed universal education access for all children by 2030. African teenage mothers who have dropped out are also advised to re-enroll. Child marriage is harshly punished and prohibited in many parts of Asia. Young bright girls in poverty are receiving scholarships to attend schools. Started in America and quickly spreading to other continents like Korea, France, and Australia, #METOO and #TIMESUP have successfully combated injustice, sexual harassment and abuse of women in the workplace and more. They all point to one thing: a paradigm shift.

To some women, this is not enough. Their longing for equity was so fierce and intense that they were driven to extremes. Infuriated and dissatisfied, they sailed out on a mission to hunt down anyone or anything that appeared to disrespect and wrongfully exploit women. As their judgment was clouded, many movies, books and the like found themselves in the place of a culprit who was indicted for a crime he never committed. Those extreme feminists rarely care whether the condemned was indeed guilty or not.

A minority even went one "better". They constantly felt the urge to overthrow and incarcerate men, as if all of them were insidious evil-doers that must be obliterated. It is this very attitude that gave birth to what every good feminist would avoid: feminazis - those who believe they are superior. With over-the-top actions, from degrading men in their circle of friends to publicly stating that men are lazy pigs, murderers and rapists, feminazis turn feminist into an F word. Sadly, the worst is yet to come.

Every victorious revolution needs strong leaders that the followers can model on, just as every humanitarian campaign needs exemplars to inspire the people. Female high-flyers are exactly what the movement needs. But these icons - the "superwomen" - are becoming more and more afraid of taking up the label. Ironically, the pressure driving them away does not come mostly from men, but from their fellow women. In many feminists' eyes, to be a visible feminist is to be a perfect human being, one that makes no flaws and fails no work. They demand perfection no one can deliver and failure means public dissection of that person's feminism. Those feminists are not wrong for wanting a role model to represent the core values of a woman, but they are wrong once their expectations exceeded reasonableness.

The question here is, how many people know about those? How many know that feminism does not equate to misandry, that feminism never senselessly imposes itself on the public, that anyone with goodwill towards helping women can be a feminist?  

With the unapologetic overkill on one side and the bizarrely deliberate jumps to conclusions on the other, the ladder to equality has been added a few more steps. Feminism has made quite some great strides in the recent few years, but maybe it is time to slow down and right the wrongs, inside and out.
Faith the Superhero
The future feminism envisages is still bright as ever, but it is now stuck at a crossroads. To turn left and stay deaf or to turn right and do something? This is the question for both sides to answer. It is not a piece of cake, but it is not a wild goose chase either.