Empowered, but not empowering; the metaphor that frames alt-feminism to audiences interrupted by “legitimate” news. While gladly gazing my eyes upon pseudo enlightenment, I found myself presented with yet, another alternative fact from the mother of the motto. The thought of misinformation, spewed about and consumed by audiences like fireworks on the Fourth of July, is exasperating. It rescinds the activism of those who fought for their right to gratis expression.

Burned into the frameworks of the next generation of thinkers and into classrooms around the country, the lack for what is inherently factual. Students incoherently express alternative facts in their idiosyncrasies — those snarky remarks to your peers who fabulously sport a “The Future is Female” shirt, do not go unobserved — yes, even something like that can trigger the alternative fact framework correlating inside the developing mind of a Millennial.

Overlooked instead are the power of these minds I sit beside every day. I have learned more from their rationalizations than from the dusty, dated textbooks lining the shelves of our stock room. However, it made me itch when a young woman whom I sat beside said this: “I am not a feminist because I do not think that men are bad, we should be equal.”

I found myself asking firstly: “what?” and secondly: “what?” Did she just contradict herself in her reasoning? Yes, and there is evidence to back up my thesis. Merriam-Webster defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes,” I do not see where men are “bad.”

I am honored to be acquainted with an indulgence of strong women in my life, who share their transcendent power with me. Raised by women who taught me to be an uncompromising trailblazer, true heroines, my paternal Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, and the only female educator to not allow superficiality undermine my intellect, I learned to use my voice for the empowerment of the young women who I see as my allies.

However, thanks to the matriarch of alternative facts, alt-feminism is on an aggressive rise like influenza in America’s “legitimate” news. Women susceptible to the influence of an empowered woman exercising her first amendment right, retain the notion that if they emulate her ideology, then maybe, they will reap the same reward — notoriety and validation.

I cannot fathom where dehumanizing women and providing them with a counterfeit definition of feminism is empowering. The dilemma: a woman who carries a great amount of power, is the least philanthropic. If we want a peaceful coexistence between the right and left, then we must do so through the empowerment of women — lift the iron curtain.

In all truths, every time you alienate your peers, you fail yourself. The girl you made unwavering attempts to annihilate in middle and high school, is the young woman telling you now — do not continue down the entangling path of alt-feminism. I hold you to the highest hope that you will see the current political climate as an opportune time to have the epiphany. I apologize for having failed you as a role model, but success invites animosity. Do not fear to be an uncompromising trailblazer.

A young woman with an advantage, validation, and the avant-garde to foster the power in my peers, am calling on you to be a leader and example to the next generation of uncompromising trailblazers. There is power in numbers — women and men, feminism is for everyone. Stand together, unify, and challenge the alternatives.

Originally published at medium.com