Sunday, 18 June 2017

My Relationship With Feminism

What is feminism? Ask a handful of people, and you will most likely get a variety of different answers. And that's okay, we should respect the individual opinions of what people value as feminism without judgement.  

But what feminism isn't, is misandry. 

"Man hating" has unfortunately been confused with the term feminism. The idea of feminism is to achieve equality, not an attempt to slate or tear men down. 

I personally value fem
inism as the liberation of women. The choice for women to express themselves in which ever manner they wish, may that be through sexuality, style, hobbies, career or behaviour. 

For women to do what they want, where they want, how they want, on their own terms, with nobody else judging them, or dragging them through the dirt. 

Women should have respect within society, respect for each other, and for others to have respect for us.
One thing I consider to show a lack of respect is catcalling. From my experience most women find catcalling extremely disrespectful. It is intimidating and uncalled for. I am aware that both genders receive catcalls, women are not the only ones subjected to objectification, however, as a female, I am aware at just how often catcalling occurs to me alone. 

This leads me onto the subject of 'rape culture'.

Rape culture is apparently a thing.  

"A society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalising or trivialising sexual assault and abuse." 

Normalising sexual abuse... I'm sorry, what?! 

The sexual objectification of women within society has and is still, ruining lives. 
The idea that women 'provoke' rape due to how we dress or act... is complete bullshit. Objectifying women as sexual objects is so extremely damaging. 
Why should women live in fear of being sexually abused due to their life choices? 
Why should I have to reconsider an outfit for a night out because it might be 'suggesting'? How do my clothes make any odds to the way in which I should be treated? 
Let's make this clear...

Nobody. Provokes. Rape. 

In case you don't understand the term rape, I've pulled a dictionary definition:

"Unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person with to without force, by a sex organ, other body part or foreign object, without the consent of the victim." 

I highlighted the important part. Clothes, or perhaps lack of... does not give consent. Never have I seen or heard an item of clothing consent their wearer to any type of sexual activity. Cut the fuckry. 

As women. We can wear whatever we damn well please. Without the fear, or judgement, or ridiculous assumptions that we are inviting people to abuse our bodies. 

Feminism is being able to wear whatever we like. To be able to confide in the authorities, that we may have been abused - and for them to not ask the question "Well, what were you wearing? Did you provoke them?" 

Feminism is women standing together against prejudice. Not joining in with the degrading name calling, almost every woman has been subjected too. Feminism should be women uniting. Don't go around calling her a slut, her best friend a slag, her sister a whore and her mother a cow. Where does that get anyone? It sounds trashy, disrespectful and is so unnecessary. If you don't like her,  or her life choices, cool, fine. Leave it at that. Be polite. Don't bitch about her. You get on with your life, and let her get on with hers. Because at the end of the day... what does her life have to do with yours? 

Feminism is allowing women to progress towards equality, we have achieved so much, yet still have miles to go. How can we have men respect us, if we do not respect ourselves. It all starts with us. As girls, young ladies, women. And the rest will eventually follow suit. Love your sisters. Women go through enough already. Why should we make it more difficult for ourselves? 

"Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It's about freedom, it's about liberation, it's about equality." - Emma Watson 


Feminism is the freedom to be who we want to be. 
The freedom to be who we want to be, to express ourselves the way we desire. 

Emma Watson expressed this after receiving hate for a photoshoot featured in Vanity Fair. People challenged her feminism due to the fact she had cleavage on show. Watson expresses that feminism is about having the freedom to expose your body, if that is what one wishes to do. It is having the ability to be in control of our own bodies as well as our own decisions.  

My relationship with feminism has been a positive one. For years I have believed in equality between men and women, before I'd even heard of the term 'feminism'. Understanding what it means for me to be a feminist and expressing myself through my rights and beliefs as a woman is a constant movement fuelled by determination. I know of people put off by the word feminism, and refuse to identify as a feminist - however their values of equality meet the values of those of a feminist. The reason being, the stigma surrounding the movement.   

My understanding of feminism is that different people hold different values in the name of feminism. 
Equality is what feminists strive for. 
Being a feminist does not make me a 'man-hater' or does not make me think women are better than men. 
Being a feminist is something to be proud of, not to shy away from, or to be embarrassed about, or threatened by. 
Feminism has adopted many negative connotations, the meaning being misinterpreted as misandry, equality being over looked. 

Restoring the meaning of feminism as a movement of equality, educating the youth that feminism is a positive movement that will effect both men and women positively is a vitality.  

Feminism is the future of freedom.

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