When did feminism become a dirty word? It’s like I missed the memo, or the latest news broadcast. It really confuses me because from the moment I new what the word meant (like actually meant) I’ve identified with the term proudly.
I’ll admit there have been times when I’ve been met with strange or disapproving looks. Which also left me confused. Once I was even told that I was too ‘pretty’ and ‘polished’ to be a feminist…..WTF? How uneducated and judgemental was that comment!!
On another occasion I was asked “why would you need to be one? Women have rights these days”. So women being able to vote and have jobs ‘these days’ has achieved gender equality? Try again.
I’ve even heard women making suggestions that they would rather be a wife and a mother than a feminist because they think those things are mutually exclusive. (FYI – they’re fucking not!)
I’ve had the argument with my boyfriend, my friends, my friends friends – anyone who will give me the time of day really. Feminism is not about burning bras and rebelling against typically feminine traits or behaviours.
It’s not about man hating.
Feminism is about equality
The mere suggestion that in order to be a feminist you need to ditch the lipstick, high-heels and sexy lingerie; that you can’t possibly be a wife and/or mother and a feminist; or that all feminists hate men, is preposterous and offensive. It’s also a big indicator that there is still a need for the feminist movement.
My mother has been married to my Father for over 30 years, she is a mother of two girls, has a career, wears makeup and stylish clothes (including bras) and she’s a feminist. I don’t think that she ever called herself that in front of me, but when I went to university and studied gender I understood. I realised I was lucky my up-bringing was one that constantly reinforced gender equality.
Growing up I never questioned my value, my right to have an opinion or make choices about my body. Going to a private girls school reinforced those beliefs – #WomenCanDoAnything. I’m truly sad that there are young girls out there who aren’t being taught the same things. I breaks my heart to think girls are still being taught they are here to serve a man as his wife and reproduce.
Women deserve to have choices
We deserve to have our opinions heard and validated. We are the only ones qualified to make choices about our own bodies. You have a right to be represented in government and you bloody well deserve equal pay!
We can be mothers, wives, fashion savvy and sexy and still contribute to our communities. We can have careers and form opinions. Your work opinions are just as valuable as those of the man sitting in the office next to you.
For me, feminism symbolises strength. It is NOT a dirty word. I proudly tell people I’m a feminist, and I tell them while I’m wearing red lipstick, Louboutin’s , carrying my Louis Vuitton bag – with fabulous lingerie on underneath that I would never dream of burning!
Inequality IS the dirty word.