Hello again, its me!
Today we’re going to be discussing the big, bad ‘Feminism’. There is a lot of crazy ideas out there about feminism, I’m sure you’ll be familiar with the word ‘feminazi’ and several stereotype memes. One that never fails to make me laugh is the idea that all feminists are overweight, hairy lesbians.
This misconception is popular coming from other women actually – which isn’t great, since we really ought to stick together.
This one always makes me laugh. The belief that women can only care about other women in a sexual way, well, it really just proves the position that patriarchal views have put us in. I mean, come on girls, you clearly only do things to appeal to men right?
What the men who brand feminists as lesbians rarely tell you is that they watch lesbian porn. But obviously those women could not possibly be feminists because they are serving a purpose to men – logic, you see?
This is where the problem lies. Too many people think that women are meant to serve men – some women included. A lot of people also think that women must be a certain way; ladylike, modest, virginal (I will discuss the construct of virginity in a separate post I’m sure).
Or, in simpler terms, a ‘good’ woman serves her man – a ‘bad’ woman is a ‘feminist’.
Ridiculous, I know. It’s all very stupid and frustrating. The worst part is, that it is so entirely ingrained within our society. Some of it has become ‘the norm’ and a lot of it is just ‘something we have to deal with’.
Well actually, we don’t have to deal with it. We don’t have to deal with being belittled or shunned because we choose to serve ourselves before a man. We don’t have to be laughed at because our little lady brains couldn’t possibly let us become an engineer.
Enough is enough and this whole topic really does get me frustrated because it’s so annoying that this is the world we live in. Anyways, let’s all calm our hysterical lady brains and continue…
So what is feminism?
I think one of the reasons a lot of people are confused and even opposed to the idea of feminism is simply because they are not sure what it is. Feminism, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’. Note ‘equality of the sexes‘.
A lot of people seem to think that feminism is about females trying to become better than males and for some bizarre reason that we are trying to oppress men – ha! I see feminism as the everyday struggle to be treated the same as my male friends and I think most feminists will tell you a similar thing.
Don’t get me wrong, we’d love to take over the world, but we’re saving that for later 😉
But, why do we need feminism?
Feminism is just as important as it was 100 years ago when women were fighting for the vote. Women have the vote now and that’s super. We’ve even just got our second female Prime Minister (even if she isn’t a feminist and is a tory -eye roll- at least we tried). But there is still a long way to go, here are just some examples of why we need feminism:
- Pay gaps – Women earn less than men who are in the same jobs, with the same qualifications.
- Rape culture – The idea that men are entitled to our bodies or that rape is a viable form of punishment.
- Slut shaming – Assuming that women are sexually promiscuous because of the clothes they wear. Furthermore if a women does have a lot of sex, she is a ‘slut’. Where as when a man has a lot of sex, he is praised. On the other hand, if a woman doesn’t want sex she may be called ‘frigid’ or deemed a lesbian.
- Cat calling – Tying in with some of the other points, men feel like wolf whistling or yelling ‘nice tits’ across the street at a woman is complimentary? No honey. It can be embarrassing and make us feel really self conscious, it’s just plain rude.
- Victim blaming – Telling the woman it’s her fault she was abused. Asking questions like “What were you wearing at the time” – as if the clothes made any difference.
- It helps everyone – Although many men seem to think feminism is all about women. It’s more than that, it’s about anyone who suffers on account of patriarchal views. That’s right guys, you need feminism too. The idea that being feminine is a weakness, the idea that men shouldn’t cry or that they should be a certain body type… that’s all because of the patriarchy too. So next time a man tells you feminism is just for women, correct them!
How can you help?
Well, for starters you can help feminism by correcting people. If you hear something sexist – point it out. If someone uses terms such as ‘feminazi’ or mocks you for being a feminist – point out why they need it just as much as you. There are many people who are scared to say they are a feminist because of the negative reaction it can cause. Believe me, I know what a pain it can be. But don’t be scared to talk about what you believe in. What you say matters! So never keep quiet on account of keeping the peace.
Also, I feel like way too many people are scared to be associated with the word ‘feminist’ – don’t be. As mentioned above, the reason people don’t like the word is because it’s connected to people who refuse to serve the patriarchy. The only possible negative to the word ‘feminist’ is for the patriarchy, so it’s all good!
All in all, feminism is one of the most important movements right now and I hope that you either agree with some of my views here, or that maybe I’ve made you think about it a little more about the topic.
There is so much more I could write, but I thought I’d keep it fairly simple for this one and I can always go into more detail in future posts. If there’s anything you want to talk about after reading this please contact me via the contact page or through Twitter @boilersuitbabe