HAPPY WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY: WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A FEMINIST?
Too often the word ‘feminism’ is considered dirty or taboo. Too often people say after talking about gender issues, ‘oh, but I’m not a huge feminist or anything.’ But why? What’s the problem with being a feminist anyway?
Do you believe in a safe and happy world for all humans, regardless of their gender? Do you think someone’s ability to get a job/drive a car/raise a family has nothing to do with what’s in their pants? Yes? Then I hate to break it to you, honey: you are one big, raging feminist. Need some more convincing? Check out the list below:
1. Men are friends, not foes
Let’s get this one over and done with. Feminism is NOT about hating men. It never has been, and anyone who tells you it is, probably cannot tell their head from their arse. I’m a feminist, and I like men. I love men. Hell, half the feminists I know are men, and I’m pretty sure they don’t hate themselves. Feminism is not about hating one gender, it’s about loving both equally.
2. You believe in freedom of expression
Feminists think people should have the right to express themselves however they want. When a woman decides to wear gender neutral clothing she is not ‘dressing like a man’, she is dressing like a woman in a loose jumper and baggy jeans. When a guy wants to paint his nails, for god’s sake let him do it. If people want to shave off their body hair, they should do it. If they want to keep it, they can do that too. Same goes for sexuality. Have heaps of sex. Or don’t have any at all. I couldn’t care less. Quite frankly, what you do with your bits is nobody else’s business.
3. You don’t always agree with those sneaky gender norms
As a woman, sometimes it gets pretty tiring being told how to look, feel and act all the time. ‘You should wear flattering clothes, but not too flattering because that would just be slutty. You really should have a full-time job because it’s embarrassing to live off your husband’s money, but how the hell can you be a good mother if you put your children into childcare?’ And this happens to our male friends too. Men are three times more likely to take their own life as women, which is hardly surprising when they’re expected to magically deal with their emotions without acknowledging they even have any.
4. You don’t like the constant objectification of women
This is such a huge point it could have its own, very long list, but we have to start somewhere. Take 'The Lingerie Football League' for example – yes it’s a thing. Because being talented at what you do isn’t enough if you’re a woman in sports, you have to wear satin underwear whilst doing it. Or in politics – your outfit, not your policies will be the center of everyone’s attention. Our friend Daniel Radcliffe summed up the objectification thing pretty nicely. After being called an ‘unconventional sex symbol’ because he was so long associated with being an eleven year old wizard, he replied with ‘well, the male population had no problem sexualizing Emma Watson immediately.’ Ten points to Gryffindor!
5. You think everybody deserves equal opportunities
Forty-five million little girls around the world are denied a basic education simply because they’re female. One Australian woman is killed every week at the hands of her current or ex-partner. So next time someone brings up the argument ‘I don’t need feminism because my boyfriend treats me right’, remind them that just because they live a safe and happy life, does not give them the right to denounce feminism for all those people out there who really need it. Get some perspective, people!
6. You want to see the world become a more balanced place
Feminists long for the days of equality, like when paid parental leave is a thing, meaning that Dads can demonstrate to the world that they are 100% capable of looking after a baby on their own. Feminists want a time where there’s an equal number of men and women in parliament or CEO positions; a world where women don’t need to fear sexual violence any time they’re alone at night. I want a world where my younger sister can grow up being exactly who she wants to be without limitation and judgement. And as long as she’s happy, I know we’re getting somewhere.
So since it's Women's Equality Day, share with us what developments you would like to see take place in favour of women?
Image Source via: Tumblr
WORDS BY: Sophie Hueppauff
Sophie is studying for her Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing and Creative Communication, but more importantly she loves nothing more than cuddle time with her cats. This fun-size, witty and adventurous gal dreams about travelling to Rio de Janeiro during the Carnival one day.