Tuesday, 8 March 2011

This is What a Feminist Looks Like

I've never been able to understand women who say they aren't a feminist. To me, it's the biggest no-brainer ever, but to them it seems to be some kind of admission of non-femininity, or, God forbid, of being a lesbian. In a seminar at university once, an English one where there were about 2 boys in the room, when asked who considered themselves a feminist, only me and one other girl raised our hands. How has this happened? How has feminist become a dirty word, and sexism brushed off as being not important (or not as important as other things like, say, having a husband and becoming his own personal house elf).

I have been a feminist before I even had any concept of the political or social implications of feminism. It never even occurred to me to think that girls were not as good as, if not better than, boys. I just assumed that people in the world were smart enough (like an eight year old me) to realise that what's in your underpants doesn't affect what you are capable of. Because, believe me, we're capable of A LOT.

This isn't how the world works though, and it sucks, but it is something that we can't just allow to continue the way it is. Things have got to change, so that women aren't doing 2/3 of the world's work, but only controlling 10% of the wealth. How does this make any sense? Things have got to change so that women aren't afraid to walk on the streets alone at night, for fear of getting attacked, simply because they are 'weaker' than men. Things have got to change so that women aren't essentially forced to stay with men who beat them, because the British government is cutting funding to women's refuges, not to mention the jobs they are cutting in industries that are dominated by women workers. The world is so much more unequal than we think it is, and something has got to change so that's not the case anymore.

I'm not afraid to say it, and you shouldn't be either, I am a Feminist. I don't care if that scares you, because all that means is this- I think that women are just as good as men, and deserve to be treated with the same respect as men, be paid the same as men, and get the full respect of the law as men do (rape conviction rates are just a joke, albeit not a very funny one). I am not just saying all this because I am a woman- if I was a man, I would have exactly the same views, just with more opportunity to change things (another not so funny joke). So, on this International Women's Day, don't be afraid to say that you are a feminist- is there really any other way to be?

Rant over. Now watch this video:

8 comments:

  1. YES Scott! You tell 'em. Let's go take the world by storm (so few female sitcom writers, you know?!)

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  2. Fantastic post! You should check out the book Full Frontal Feminism. It does a great job taking on the (incorrect) idea that feminism is a dirty word.

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  3. Thank you! I will check it out, there are so many feministy books that I want to read!

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  4. Thank you for such a well written defense of "Feminism." My sentiments exactly!

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  5. Woo-hoo! Great video, great post. My students are all afraid of the 'f' word, and they have no idea what they owe to those women and men, some who've called themselves feminists and some not, who fought so they could even sit their butts in the classroom and not claim to be feminists.

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  6. Great post. I completely agree. And I do think that you can still be a feminist and have a husband and take care of your family but still work towards all the things that you mentioned. Not that you're opposed, but I know a lot of people who wouldn't call me feminist because I have the gall to cook for my bf sometimes. And that is just as destructive as not admitting to be a feminist. Does any of that make sense?

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  7. Yeah, I get you! Lol, I definitely think you can be a feminist and still get married! Of course! And cooking for someone you love (anyone you love) doesn't make you a non-feminist either. I mean, I love baking and sewing, and I'm like the biggest feminist ever! I just essentially think that being a feminist=thinking you shouldn't be treated like shit because of your gender. And I don't think that anyone can argue against that really (I mean, I know it's more complicated than that, but that's basically it, I think!)

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