By Rohith Rao
Feminism, the popular idea that strongly advocates for gender equality, has become a hotly debated subject in the age #MeToo and #TimesUp. Amidst all the chaos of the arguments made about the subject, it sometimes becomes difficult to uncover the true meaning of feminism and why it is a novel idea that benefits everyone.
Feminism, from a philosophical standpoint, calls for the acknowledgement of the historical omission of the perspectives of women, a reevalutation of important concepts from a feminine viewpoint and the need for fairness and balance between the perspectives of both sexes on important issues today. Upon closer analysis, one may realize that the feminist outlook can be applied to address inequality in contexts beyond sex like race, ethnicity, culture and so on. Hence feminism can definitely serve as a useful tool when addressing issues pertaining to minorities.
A great example of the lack of representation of minorities is in nineteenth and early twentieth century research of indigenous people especially in places that were formerly colonized by Europeans. The issue with a lot of this research is that even if it was scholarly and inoffensive, it still holds a bias in perspective unless it takes into account the perspective of indigenous people. Similarly, the significant lack of minority representation across all levels of government in the United States essentially makes them unrepresentative.
According to an article in The New York Times, minorities make up almost 40 percent of the U.S. population yet they fill less than quarter of congressional and state offices. There needs to be a significant push by the various political platforms for encouraging minority candidates to run for various congressional, state and local offices until there’s a justifiable level of representation. Ultimately, American politics has to reflect the nation’s diversity in order to be truly representative of all people and avoid a perspective bias.