Girl Power

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When did feminist become a dirty word? Why do women say they believe in equal rights then shrink back when the word “feminism” is mentioned?

I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard women complain about every day sexism and say “I’m not a feminist but…”. What do you mean, you’re not a feminist?? Do you not like that girls go to school and are educated to the same standard as boys?  Perhaps you’d prefer that all your worldly goods (money, property, personal belongings) were controlled by your father, then your husband and upon his death, your son. Maybe you don’t like driving. Or working. Or voting.

Personally I like that I was able to choose the man I married. I like that if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason I can choose to divorce him. I like that if we were to split he wouldn’t automatically get sole custody of our daughter. That we could in fact share. I like that our assets would be divided equally and that I wouldn’t be left with nothing just because I’m the woman.

This week I saw a comment on Twitter that was vile. I won’t go into details but it was regarding the Ched Evans case and this particular individual was making jokes about rape. Taking a look at his profile he had also made comments about “wogs” and “niggers” and “dirty sluts”. So this wasn’t particularly surprising. I remarked how rape is anything but funny and he replied with a comment about how ugly I am. Typical. Another sneering reply was “feminist?”. Ah, yes because only a anti-men feminist would object to a rape joke *eye roll*. I reported the tweet and went about my day. But I kept thinking about it. How are men like this walking around in 2016 Britain? Are they just the pond scum of society, best ignored? All mouth behind the anonymity of a keyboard but harmless losers in the flesh? Maybe. But maybe not.

Despite all the progress that’s been made in recent years it still isn’t a level playing field. Ask any woman working to support a family about the gender pay gap. For a woman to earn 18% less than a man doing the exact same job is atrocious. And if you think 18% isn’t that much imagine how you’d feel if your boss told you to take an 18% pay cut. Seems like rather a lot now doesn’t it?

Are you of the opinion that women/girls are just pretty faces? Well, they’ve been outperforming boys at school since 2002. Girls are ahead of boys across all subjects at A*-C grade by 8.9 percentage points.


Despite this achievement girls today are suffering from insecurities. Bombarded with images of the “perfect body” and urged to be “bikini ready” (even in February) not to mention the fantasy porn women and supermodels it’s not hard to see how some young women might have low self esteem.

I was a big fan of the This Girl Can campaign. I kind of hate the term “real women”, it implies that actresses and models aren’t human. They are, they’re just BLESSED. And they have teams of hair stylists, make up artists, cosmetic dentists, dermatologists, fashion stylists and of course airbrushing at their disposal. But I guess “real women” is a good term to sum up the non-airbrushed amongst us so let’s say that this campaign featured some great real women being active. It was to counteract the picture perfect images we see every day. A huge number of girls drop out of sports and activities when they hit puberty because they worry about what they’ll look like and this campaign’s message was ‘I don’t care, I’m gonna do it anyway and I’m gonna enjoy it’.

this girl can
Look! A real woman!

I also love this short video from Always called Like A Girl . It makes me feel quite emotional. A must view if you have a daughter.

like a girl
Like A Girl
So in answer to the neanderthal’s question “feminist?”. Yes. Absolutely.

I AM A PROUD FEMINIST.

I don’t hate men, I don’t burn my bras (are you kidding!? bras are expensive) but I do believe in equality. Whatever your race, sexual orientation, gender, religion… I believe in equality for all.

We need to teach our daughters that feminism isn’t a dirty word. That you don’t have to shut up and sit down just because you don’t have a penis. That you can be anything you want to be.

Strong women. May we know them, may we be them and may we raise them.

 

PS: And besides, everybody knows girls are best anyway

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. stellabranch says:

    I’m very proud that I’ve brought up a son that is a feminist too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked the This Girl Can campaign too. Feminism is such a funny subject – it seems to be mainly common sense but still gets shudders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It infuriates me when young women in the west say “I’m not a feminist”. Girls around the world are still refused basic freedoms yet on this side we take it for granted. It’s just ridiculous.

      Like

  3. Ronnie Solbakken says:

    The problem is that words only have the meaning that is typically associated with them. So for you, “feminist” means someone who believes in equality. But for a lot of people in recent years, “feminist” has become synonymous to third-wave feminazi extremism. And so that’s what people associate with the word “feminism”.

    There’s also a lot of feminists who don’t see the kind of feminazism that people claim to exist. They just immediately assume that it’s just another mansplaining of men caught inside their patriarchal misogyny bubble, even though both facts and logic prove otherwise.

    Similarly, every critic of Trump is accused of being a Shill for Hillary. Everybody who agrees with Putin in select points are accused of being pro-Putin communists. Every atheist is accused of hating God. Our entire civilization is seeped with this disgusting “us versus them” mindset that blinds everyone from looking at the concrete reality of things regardless of their more abstract implications.

    Things don’t exist in isolation from everything else. There’s a reason why “feminazism” isn’t just a fringe expression, but in fact a top of the line concern within the fight for equality. As such, it’s everyone’s (including the feminist’s) responsibility to take back the word from the people who, ignorantly or intentionally, corrupt it with their anti-establishment, misandrist nonsense that has zero basis in reality. Instead of bandwagoning on some vague “wage gap” statistic, people should study why men and women choose the careers they choose. Instead of accusing individual industries of being patriarchal and misogynistic, you should focus on the underlying social cultures that industries are a product of.

    It’s become painfully obvious that feminism today, as presented in the media, has become far removed from the core equality that women originally sought. Criticizing individual women for choosing plastic surgery, isn’t gonna make the world accept the women who don’t do plastic surgery. Dictating to women how they should live their lives, instead of trusting them to make that choice themselves – that’s not equality, that’s just a bunch of disgusting elitist women adopting the same misogynistic and misandric nonsense that they’ve been accusing us men of doing in the past.

    The real problem isn’t about which gender that has experienced the most prejudice. The real problem lies in the fact that people experience prejudice, to begin with. If that means more women than men, then fighting prejudice will just naturally evolve into a greater statistical focus on women over men. Just as #AllLivesMatters will necessarily result in more black lives being helped if that’s the demography in greatest need.

    This is the problem with the word “feminism”. It crystallizes women as a problem group, rather than addressing the issue itself. And now, in recent years, that crystallization has finally catched up to you.

    All rights have duties. All freedoms have responsibilities. You can’t have one without the other, and this remains true regardless of your gender, color, creed, age, beliefs or whatever.

    Personally, I call myself an equalist. But even that word can be corrupted, depending on whether you mean figurative equality (treated at equal basis), or literal equality (treated exactly equal regardless of circumstance).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ronnie Solbakken says:

    Also, keep in mind that I’m talking about the 1st-world issues here, the kind of debates that 1st-world people have that most commonly causes them to say that “I’m not a feminist, but…”. The fact that women are being stoned to death or burnt with acid or otherwise, are extreme violations of basic human rights. If these things happened more often towards men, they would still be extreme violations of basic human rights. Part of the solution is obviously to attack the attitude towards women, but that won’t solve the underlying attitude that make people think it’s ok to throw acid in people’s faces.

    You have to address the underlying issues, or else you’re just going to end up with a bunch of men AND women getting their faces dipped in acid. So to categorize these problem as gender issues is redundant, because once the human rights violations are dealt with, there’s nothing left to fix.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your impassioned response. It is about human rights and equality for all. 🙂

      Like

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