The #MeToo movement, the #Time'sUp campaign, ongoing protests against the wage gap, and other perceived inequalities have spanned the cross-cultural dialogue in a unique direction.

Never in the history of time have women had such a powerful collective voice, and never before have men been forced to listen and held accountable to create and maintain equality across such varying social landscapes.

It's been a long time coming, for sure. But at what point do we finally sit down and say, "Yes. We have achieved the equality we sought.

We have done what we set out to do."

A brief history of feminism

Since the 18th century, women have struggled to provide themselves with certain unalienable rights and privileges which traditionally belonged to men. We typically categorize the eras of feminine emancipation as “waves” of feminism.

In 1920, after nearly a century of protest, the first organized wave won the right for American women to vote.

A few decades later in the '60s and '70s, the second wave fought for feminine unity against war, racism, and classism. In the 1990s, the third wave introduced the concept that sexuality and gender can be fluid (though the title, "feminism" does restrict one-half of the binary genders).

While some women consider us to still be in the third or even second wave of feminism, the current trend is much less structured than its predecessors.

The decline of a social movement

According to Ebsco Information Services, there are four phases that make up a social movement: emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization, and decline.

Women have achieved suffrage, property ownership, divorce and child custody rights, reproductive rights, gender and sexual equality, general wage equality (controlled data shows women make 98 percent of what men make) and more.

By all accounts, the legislative, or "bureaucratization" phase is coming to an end.

But instead of allowing the natural decline of this powerful, and positive social movement, it seems to be desperately trying to stir itself back up. We want a 50-50 representation across every industry (whether enough women want to participate in those industries or not). We want preferential treatment for women, and shaming for any man (especially white, straight men) who's ever enjoyed a perceived advantage.

Why is that?

The inability of modern feminism to sustain itself

This inability is two-fold.

First, we human beings need conflict, and the true fight for gender equality in the western world is rapidly decreasing.

Think about history and the arts. What book, play, TV series, or film could achieve any level of success without a viable source of conflict at its core? The truth is, we humans are at our best when we struggle through difficulty to become better people.

But melt all the opposition away and we now have to create synthetic conflict for ourselves to overcome. We become disillusioned, petulant, and impatient. We can't be satisfied with the progress we've made; we want to be perpetually angry and continue to fight for - something - anything.

We attack anyone who dares to contradict us and utilize the free speech we women fought for in the early 20th century. And in so doing, we trample the dedication and nullify the sacrifices these women made for us.

I know, I know! First world problems!

But second, popular thought doesn't change the same way legislation does. In fact, you can't really change popular thought at all. People think and believe what they want, based on their background, upbringing, socio-economic status, and a plethora of other factors. You may be able to influence them a little, but that's usually done on a person-person basis.

So, marching into D.C. and strewing tampons on the White House lawn is probably not going to accomplish a nation-wide change of heart. The truth is, people may or may not change their minds. It's up to you to change the only thing you truly can, yourself.

In summary, there are plenty of other countries all over the world who desperately need to implement the level of equality we've come to enjoy here in the west. If you're truly looking for a feminist emblem to take up, consider moving someplace where your efforts towards equality are needed.

We're doing okay here.

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