An Idiot’s Guide to Feminism
FIRSTLY, to be clear, I am not calling you an idiot, no siree.
But a feminist? Well, I sure hope I can call you that?
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but over the last 12 months or so it’s become pretty obvious to me (and others) that feminism is having somewhat of a bad hair day. It’s not really feeling much love at the moment and that’s putting it mildly.
I’m joking a little here of course. The reality is that feminism has a very bad rep these days.
People are confused about what it all means. Feminists are being trolled and abused online. People are scared of the term. People mock it.
Many women – and this is the really depressing part if you ask me – won’t even call themselves feminists or say the word out loud for fear of the abuse they may receive or encounter.
It’s a rather grim picture isn’t it?
I don’t know what’s happened over the past few years but to me, it feels like the anti-feminism movement is getting worse. And nastier.
And I just cannot accept this. I won’t accept it. And neither should you.
I find it difficult to comprehend why feminism is such a hated idea. I have some notions as to why this is but I’m no Germaine Greer so I’ll leave all the ins and outs rightly to the experts who know their stuff.
But I can tell you this.
I. Am. A. Feminist.
Or to quote Elle and Whistles in their brilliant new fashion campaign (I cannot wait for this!) “this is what a feminist looks like”.
As someone who believes in equality, who believes in women (and men too, for that matter) I thought I’d provide an idiot’s guide to feminism and what it’s all about.
You know. In case you’re confused. In case you hear a young girl say proudly “I hate feminism!”. In case you’re wondering why the hell any of us should bother. In case you’re wondering if the fight is worth fighting. (It is, it most definitely is). In case you’re a man thinking what on earth has it got to do with me.
Here’s what feminism is. And isn’t. In a nutshell. My idiot’s guide.
Feminism is NOT about:
- Hating men
- Wanting to be better than men
- Burning bras or going make up free
- Ditching traditional female roles
- Taking over the universe
Feminism IS about:
Fighting for EQUALITY
Yep folks. It really is as simple as that.
But surely women have equality now don’t they, I hear a few of you cry? Well no, actually we don’t. And here a few stats to prove it.
Feminism is important because:
- Globally, about one in three women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime.
- On average two women a week are killed by a violent partner or ex-partner in the UK
- Almost 1 in 3 girls have experienced unwanted sexual touching at school
- 130 million women living in the world today have undergone female genital mutilation
- Globally, 10 million more girls are out of school than boys
- Women account for nearly two thirds of the world’s 780 million people who cannot read.
- In the UK, approximately 70% of people in national minimum wage jobs are women
- Women who work, with or without children, spend 15 hours a week on average doing chores, while men spend only five.
This list could have gone on and on and on.
Depressing isn’t it?
Feminism isn’t about women taking over the world. About depriving men of their roles. Of stripping women of their femininity. About hating men.
But it is about ensuring that future generations of women get to live in a safer, equal world in which they have will freedom. Choices. Opportunities. Health. Education. Safety. Money. Happiness.
It is about ensuring that women’s voices are heard, just as much as mens.
It is about empowering women. About celebrating women. About respecting how women chose to live their lives.
I’m a feminist and I love men. I have great male friends. I have a brilliant father and brother. I have a fabulous husband. One day I may even raise a son.
But I also love women. I am a woman and as such I demand that my gorgeous, talented sex is treated as fairly, and with as much respect as is given to the opposite gender.
I’m a feminist because I am fighting for equality. Because I believe in equality. For my daughter. For myself. For all the women who came and fought before me. And for all those who will come after.
You can complicate it or confuse things as much as you like but feminism, in a nutshell, this is all it is about.
Now I ask you, where on earth is the harm in that?