* for those of you who don’t get that reference. I implore you to go and watch Footloose.
Ok so time to take a deep breath. I want to compress all the one liners, the YAS moments into one post. A How To Guide for Feminism if you will. Oh wait what’s that? there is no How To Guide to Feminism because it’s an incredibly polarising and complex issue. Sorry I didn’t realise (probably because I’m a woman)
So in the interest of us all being on the same page I thought I would start with a definition.
”Feminism is to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, educational, personal, and social rights for women.”
Do you believe that men and women deserve to be treated equally? THEN YOU’RE A FEMINIST.
Uh oh, so what now? Do you have to change your fb status, tinder bio, put it in all your insta hashtags? NO (plz no)
Ok so let’s clear some things up.
It seems that the use of the world feminism has become saturated, especially in the media and naturally (as is standard in the media) the actual meaning has become a bit muddled.
Let’s take a look at what feminism is not.
Feminism is not about MAN HATING. We don’t hate men. We want men to be screaming feminism from the rooftops. ‘I THINK WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL CREATURES AND I WANT TO SEE THEM RECIEVE EQUAL RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES INSTEAD OF SINGING ABOUT THEIR BIG BUTTS’. got it.
Also men gave us Ryan Gosling. Why on earth would we hate them?
Feminism is not about burning your bras, braiding your armpit hairs, carrying around The Female Eunuch everywhere and screaming ‘down with the patriarchy’ at the top of your lungs all the time.
So if that’s not what feminism is then what is it?
Simply put feminism is about EQUALITY. But as well as that there are a few things that just follow on naturally as a result.
Feminism is about refusing to let other people make you feel smaller than you are just because you’re a woman.
Feminism is about knowing your worth as a woman and as a human being.
Feminism is about demanding respect for that worth and never taking anything less.
But somehow identifying as a feminist has become a dirty thing. It’s as though someone has just decided ‘who are all these crazy hormonal females with opinions?! GET THEM OUTTA HERE.’
campaigns such as ‘This Is What a Feminist Looks Like‘ and ‘#HeforShe‘ are so important because they recognise than feminism isn’t just a movement for women it is also just as much about men. Men stepping up and saying yeah I’m not afraid to support feminism because it’s not linked my masculinity, it’s linked to my humanity. (Also I’m sure we can all agree than if Joseph Gorden Levitt is on board then we’re obviously onto a winner.)
but what if it was ludicrous to NOT identify as a feminist. What if we lived in a world where it was just assumed that everyone was a feminist, just like we assume everyone gets McDonalds when they’re hungover or that everyone thinks Donald Trump is an a-hole.
The discourse around feminism should be a celebration. There are so many badass women and men around the world doing badass things for equality. Women being brave and crossing boundaries and breaking taboos, men being honest and open and joining in the conversation. When I think about feminism in this way it is soaked in positivity.
Ok so you’re sitting here thinking, like yea, this chick is making a lot of sense. Woah I think I’m having a feminist epiphany. What now?
Keep your eyes open you may see inequality in places you’d never expect. Be interested, that is all I ask, the rest will take care of itself once you view the world with a feminist perspective.
Caitlin Moran, Author of How to be a Girl and all round Bad Ass puts it’s very well.
‘If the guys aren’t dealing with it then we shouldn’t have to’
It is a metric I use very often, though it is important to note should be taken with a slight grain of salt (as a general rule apply this to much of what I say)
But I won’t leave you with nothing. I’m here to give you the gift of funny feminist women (and the awesome books they’ve written), it includes but is not limited to Amy Schumer, Tiny Fey – Bossy Pants, Amy Poehler – Yes Please, Lena Dunham – Not That Kind of Girl and Mindy Kaling – Why Not Me? These women bring the goods, and not just the lol’s, they are also epic at observing things that we have become so used to that we almost don’t see anymore.
Don’t have time to read? How about just watch these epic women have a chat about some of this stuff? What’s so awesome (how many more times can I say awesome) is seeing how much they love actually getting to voice their thoughts and how much they value what each other has to say. GIRL POWER. WHAT UP.
And if you take nothing else away from this post take this.
You may recognise Chimamanda’s voice from you know that really random not very well known Beyonce song Flawless. Well turns out she knows her stuff, she’s intelligent, witty, observant and has a very accessible take on this whole feminism stuff. 10/10 would recommend.
So there you have it a feminist introduction. This is not the end of this discussion by any means. Not only a women’s game but a man’s game as well. But let’s be honest
Who run the world?