Theses days I can’t log into my Gmail account without being hit by a barrage of feminism related emails. All the glossies are at it. Is this celebrity a feminist, is that one? Should we be scared to use the term? Should it have a little f or a big f? Can you be a feminist if you shave your legs/wear skimpy clothes/cook cupcakes* (*delete as appropriate depending on what day of the week it is). I’m all for women’s rights, but this is just making my head spin!
Let’s take one of my favourite icons as an example. Queen Bey is often a little coy in letting us know if she’s a feminist or not (presumably because she’s scared of the ‘you cant wear that and call yourself a feminist’ brigade) yet, she frequently speaks out about being an independent woman (pun whole-heartedly intended). In fact, in track Flawless, on her latest album, she samples Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk on feminism, ending with the quote:
Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
True dat! I believe we should have equality for the sexes in every part of life and I know we’re not there yet. But I don’t think feminism is the answer, or not now it isn’t anyway. When women weren’t allowed to vote/work/think for themselves extreme action was needed and so, yes, too right feminism became the answer. We needed to go ‘Oi, we’re just as good as you’. In the Western world, at least, we’ve kind of done that and although we’re still massively under-represented in politics, seen as sex objects in the popular media and vastly underpaid in comparison to our male colleagues – we’re past the days of burning our bras and throwing ourselves under horses. Now we need to stop seeing men as the enemy and work with them to change things. Well, that’s my opinion anyway. Hear me out.
We say women should have the right to return to a high-powered job shortly after having children and not be mocked, ridiculed, told they’re a bad mother, or get paid any less than a male counter-part. So far, so true. But what about if the husband of that same high-powered business woman wants to be a stay at home father? Does he get the same rights as a woman who does the same? Does he not get ridiculed and funny looks from a group of dis-trusting mothers when he takes the kids to school?
Some people argue that feminism is no longer about women’s rights, but more about equality for everyone. Hmmm, imagine if a guy told you that ‘manism’ was about equality for all? That whole ‘fem’ part of the word, kind of doesn’t work.
It’s no good banging on about us getting equal rights, if we’re not giving them. And that’s why I think feminism is an out-dated word. Am I a feminist? No. Do I want equal rights? Yes, for everyone men, women, different races, colours, creeds, sexual orientations. Can someone find me a word for that please? Thanks!
What do you think? Is feminism an outdated term?