If you believe in equality you are a feminist.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not ignorant to the fact that there is a stigma surrounding feminism. Many people, through no fault of their own, have a very warped view of what feminism actually is.
I did a quick Google Image search of “Feminism ClipArt” and some of the photos that I found clearly highlight the negative social constructs that society and the media have created.
This is not feminism.
Feminism still has a long way to go until it will be accepted and destigmatised. The road to equality will be a long and tiresome one but I am confident that it will be worth it in the end. Not just for feminists- for women- but for everyone. In today’s society, differences are picked out instead of promoted. Individuality is questioned and uniqueness is often scorned over.
- Feminism is wanting your daughter to feel as strong and as appreciated as her brothers.
- It is being a man who wants his female co-workers to receive equal pay.
- It is not needing to worry about being slated for deciding to keep your maiden name when you get married.
- It is wanting to be comfortable wearing what makes you happy when you go out, without fear of looking like you are “asking for it”.
It is feeling valued, feeling strong and most importantly, feeling equal.
Yes, every movement has radical members and unfortunately, this small group of people within the feminist movement has created warped perceptions of feminism. Being a feminist does not mean that you hate men or that you think you are better than men. In fact, many feminist are indeed men. Feminists do not want any special treatment. Just equal treatment.
Feminism = Equality
Although I wanted to keep this blog post fairly short, I feel passionate about the fact that this conversation should continue. I understand that it can be very difficult to overcome such a strong stigma. I hope that this may have somehow changed someone’s perception in some way, shape or form.
If you haven’t already seen the video below, I would highly recommend it. Emma Watson is a fantastic example of a feminist. She is not radical. She is not a misandrist. She outlines the importance of raising awareness and strives for equality. It’s well worth a watch.
I was inspired to write this blog post after our recent workshop looking into what gender is and how it may affect us. It really got me thinking about how far we have come in terms of equality, but also how far we still have to go. We are brought up in a society which ingrains us with stereotypes and social constructs. Simple phrases such as “big brave boy” and “throw like a girl” indoctrinate children from a young age and I believe that as future teachers, we need to adapt in order to inspire the future generation to be whatever they want to be and not to feel constricted to a certain group or construct.
It’s so important that we remind children that they are unique and should be proud of that.
By acknowledging and promoting the fact that everyone is different; everyone in turn, will become equal.