Feminism. Feminist. Equality.
Three words, three nouns, with three different meanings, relating to one goal; complete gender equality in all parts of the world. Not one country can say that they are one hundred percent gender equal. Many refuse the term feminist due to its negative connotations, the fact a word, a word that strives for the equality of men and women has become taboo and has been branded as one that you should feel shame for calling yourself suggests the problem is still an urgent matter, sinking icy fingers into the minds of both men and women asking them “Why should both men and women be equal?”. Many believe feminism is about demeaning men when in reality feminism is about coming together to fight the discrimination all genders face.
There is a girl at the school I attend, she uses the word ‘feminist’ as if it were an insult, the word rolls of her tongue covered with poison; “Ugh she’s going off on another feminist rant” as if speaking about being equal to my male counterparts is absurd. The irony of the matter is, the girl in question would like to become an actress, one of the most obvious areas of inequality is in the wage gap between a man’s wage and a woman’s, both her and a male actor could work the same amount of hours with the same amount of lines and she, because she is a woman will receive a lower pay cheque. Surely, this is what is absurd not me asking to be treated as an equal?
When I was five I used to attend ballet classes, during the car journey my grandfather taught me to whistle, while I was doing ballet and idly whistling I was asked why I was doing that because that’s what boys did. When I was ten I loved to play football, every single day I went to play football (almost everyday) I was told that I couldn’t play because I was a girl and that I wouldn’t be able to kick a ball properly or score a goal. I stopped playing football for about a week before I realised that what they thought didn’t matter, of course I could play football, why couldn’t I? It seemed so ridiculous to me that I was not allowed to do something simply because I was a girl, so I continued to play football and I proved them wrong because why shouldn’t I, just because no other girls were doing it, it did not mean that I was unable to! When I was fifteen I was told to act ‘dumb’ because being smart wasn’t attractive, when I asked what on earth this meant I was told my intelligence was too intimidating and meant that I would never find a husband to have children with in order for me to become a stay at home mum, of course there is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mum if the choice is theirs, however why couldn’t I fulfil my dreams based on the fact that I am female?
Of course feminism is not just about the female gender it is about men and those who choose to have no gender, equality for everyone is imperative in our future society. Many of my male friends struggle to speak about emotions and to discuss their most sensitive side in the fear that they won’t be man enough; but what is a man? What is it that makes a man a man? Why does rejecting the feelings that all human beings encounter make you a man?
Further Topics of Discussion to Expect:
- Intersectional Feminism
- Influential Feminists
- A World With Gender Inequality