Empowerment | Feminism | Uncategorized

Feminism: my view on the movement

July 28, 2016


Feminism. What do you think of when you first hear that word? Some may think of gender equality (which it is), whereas others may apply more negative connotations to it.

It is no secret that I openly label myself as a Feminist. I know a lot of people may support egalitarianism, yet not put a label on it, and that’s totally fine too. But I’m proud to call myself a Feminist. I’m proud to be part of a movement which, even nearly 100 years on, still empowers women worldwide today.

Like many Feminists, I have also been open to scrutiny and ridicule from a lot of people. “Western society is equal!” I’ve even once been told that “Feminism is cancer” and that it makes me a total psycho supporting a gender equality movement, but we’ll move onto that point a bit later on.

Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

Let’s strip this down to a way in which everyone will try to understand why I’m a Feminist. I’m a Feminist because I believe in equality. It’s as simple as that. I feel like Feminism has been blown out of proportion, and has slowly been changed due to growing assumptions that “Feminists cry about being oppressed all day” or my personal favourite, “Feminists hate men!” You may use the argument that some Feminists hate men, and I’m sure there are some women that hate men. But that’s not a Feminist. Bottom line, I love men. Some of my bestest friends are male and I love them just as much as my female friends. It’s not about hating men, it’s about being equal to men and vise versa.

I’m going to go quite personal now, and talk about my personal view on Feminism and how I perceive the Feminist movement. After labeling myself as a Feminist for nearly 3 years now, I have increasingly become more educated on the matter, and more open to alternative opinions on gender inequality and about the role of women in various societies all together.

Western society. It is no secret that the role of women has improved dramatically over the past 100 years- especially in my society. Heck, women can now vote, we’ve had our first female prime minister (and just had our second), girls and boys have so many amazing opportunities that go against gender stereotypes. I mean, if I wanted to be an electrician that used to be a typical male job, I could be. And you know what else? I think it’s cool as hell if men want to wear make-up and men want to express themselves in that way. Breaking down gender stereotypes people…

I think it’s important, as people, that we look at the positive aspects which have come out of the Feminist movement. Our society is becoming more and more equal between men and women, and that should be celebrated more often. Sure, there are still issues such as ‘rape culture,’ and ‘slut shaming’ for instance, but let’s look at how our society has been positively changed.

I know and understand that a lot of western Feminists, even Feminists that I know of myself, speak up about issues such as the ‘wage gap’ a lot. However, I tend to personally stay out of them issues, not because I am ignorant to them issues, but because I feel like I’m not educated enough on them topics to speak up about them. I personally believe that the wage gap is hard. It’s easy for statistics to be manipulated, especially now that we do have equal opportunities to go into whatever job we want. Granted, however, it may be harder for  a woman to go into a typical male job for instance.

Of course if I was slut shamed, I would speak up because it’s no secret that it’s not right. On the other hand, and this is where a lot of other Feminists may open me up to scrutiny, I concentrate my energy about speaking up on other issues that exist in middle eastern cultures for example. Or let’s talk about how women are still shamed for wearing a skirt just above their knee in our education system as it’s “too distracting for the male pupils.”

I personally feel like Feminism is such a hard topic to write about, as it’s easy for people to disagree with you on such a diverse topic. But I’m a strong believer that Feminism should be stripped down to what it’s actually about, equality (rather than constantly pin pointing certain subjects to talk about all the time).

Another issue that is raised by a lot of Feminists, and which I was approached about today, is the subject of wolf whistling in public. Oh ‘good old’ wolf whistling. For me personally, I believe each to their own. Of course many men and women may feel flattered by being wolf whistled, but for me personally, it makes me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed; but I guess that’s just a personal response. I would personally not wolf whistle anyone as I believe it’s more respectful not to, but everyone has their own opinions on the matter.

Middle Eastern societies. It is no secret that this is where Feminism definitely is needed. Even just talking about FGM and forced marriages would be enough to convince you that middle eastern societies are far from being equal.

In fact, one of my most favourite Feminist writers, El Saadawi, talked about FGM and her experience of the patriarchy which surrounds it. For any of you who are unaware, FGM (female genital mutilation) “is the practice, traditional in some cultures, of partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women for non-medical reasons.” You can read the article in which El Saadawi addresses the issue of FGM here.

Overall, I believe that Feminism is a hard topic to talk about- especially because there are so many opinions which surround it. I have been shamed for being a Feminist, but the fact is, I’m quite a low key Feminist. I only speak up about issues when I feel like it needs to be said, but that doesn’t mean I’m ignorant to the movement either. I will continue to work towards promoting equality within societies worldwide, and I will not be shamed or ridiculed for my views on equality.

It’s time we lived in a more equal and accepting society. You may not agree with everything I have mentioned in this post, and that’s totally okay. But people should become more aware, and accepting, of other peoples opinions regarding issues such as Feminism and take them into consideration.

I support a movement which has the interests of men and women at heart. I support a movement which helps empower men and women. I support a movement which helps me stand up for myself and my body in a world where, yeah, there still is some misogyny. I support a movement which also states it’s ridiculous that women get child custody more than men do. I support a movement which promotes equality. I am sick of being labelled constantly because of Feminist misconceptions, or due to other people already labeling the kind of person they think Feminists are. Guess what? We’re all unique humans, and we all have our unique opinions.

#IAmAFeminist because I believe in equal rights for all. Whether that’s white women, black women, black men, white men, transgender or otherwise. Everyone deserves to be treated the same in this world. We’re all human after all.

I hope this post has helped give you a different perspective on Feminists, or Femnism, as a whole if nothing else. Feel free to let me know your thoughts, and leave a comment in the comment box below!

Love and happiness always,

xo, Becca

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  1. Such an insightful post about feminism! I would openly call myself a feminist too but I get such weird looks when I do which is pretty sad since I believe feminism can benefit both men and women. I’m glad I could read a post that I agree wholly with as there is so much negativity associated with feminism, especially on the internet these days. xx

  2. I really agree – feminism is such a difficult topic to discuss. I won’t lie, I don’t openly label myself as a feminist (by that I mean in social media bios etc – in my personal life everyone knows I am) purely because of how many arguments it can cause. I have often heard I am not a ‘good enough’ feminist because I don’t speak on certain subject, but that’s just because I’d rather not talk about stuff I’m not educated enough on. Another reason, I often find I get the response ‘you wouldn’t understand because you’re white’, and of course, certain issues don’t affect me and I get that, but I feel like it’s something that’s just thrown around so much now, I’d rather stay out of the conversation completely.

    1. I totally agree with what you’re saying. I believe that there really is so much judgement that surrounds Feminism, ironically sometimes by Feminists themselves. I understand totally what you’re saying because I feel exactly the same. Sometimes it’s just easier staying out of some topics or discussions because it turns into this whole big thing when it doesn’t mean to be. Thank you for the feedback X

  3. Great post, I love this & am sharing this! I do not understand why there is so much negativity on feminism. Female circumsition is honestly one of the most gruesome evil acts on women both physically and mentally, I appreciate all types of culture but somethings are totally intolerable.
    Great read. XX
    http://www.sopherina.co.uk

    1. Thank you so much for reading and sharing! I heart about FGM first in my Sociology class last year, and it’s so crazy how the topic isn’t brought up or talked about more… it’s going against basic human rights. Awful. Thank you for the feedback lovely X

  4. What’s hard for me is a lot of people want to attack feminism and ignore the existence of misandry. They are two totally different things. Those women that hate men and want to be above men are not feminists – they are misandrists. I try and discuss this when someone wants to tell me how horrible feminism is. I am proud to be a feminist and people that aren’t honestly make me uncomfortable. They usually don’t want to hear anything about it because they already *know*. It was nice to read your thoughts on it, girl. XOXO

    Breanna Catharina
    smile–sugar.com

  5. Wow! This was so amazing to read. The passion you have, and being a feminist is shown so well in this post! I totally agree with so many of the points you say, and as a women there are issues that affect me but because of my lack of knowledge it’s hard to express it sometimes, without saying the wrong info. It was definitely insightful, got to stay tuned to your posts <3

  6. Wolf whistling makes me feel like the way I’m dressed is sending the wrong message but then I’m like, it’s my body, I can do what I want with it! I feel that women grow up feeling that their bodies are for everyone but themselves, with the length of their skirt or the neckline of their top holding so much significance. But you’re right, feminism is so hard to talk about because there are so many aspects and inequalities affect women around the world in so many different ways. I’m trying to speak out more and more about all the different problems and I no longer have an issue with openly saying I’m a feminist because like you said, feminism simply strives for equality for all! Have you seen the new Global Goals #whatireallyreallywant campaign?

  7. This was a really well written post that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The difference between feminists and misandrists is one which seems to confuse a lot of people, especially some of those who consider themselves feminists but practice misandry. While practices such as FGM are disturbing to the extreme, I am generally reluctant to speak up about the need for feminism in societies other than my own. I feel that I do not have the authority to speak about a culture I do not and cannot ever fully understand. While my personal opinions are that elements of a culture are barbaric, I don’t voice those opinions unless asked to.

    The misconceptions surrounding feminism distress me, because while I am undoubtedly a feminist, I have found that openly informing people of that fact can lead to close mindedness. I have on several occasions found that in discussions, points that were considered valid and to be considered by the other party, are now rendered inconsequential by the knowledge that I am a feminist. As such, I actually avoid using the label of feminist because the misconception can actually mean that you can get through to people with the same arguments without the label. It’s a strange situation for feminism as a whole, but but that’s what seems to work for me.

  8. I loved how you handled this topic. I loved how in depth and honest you were. I loved how well you made the distinguish between feminists who really do strive for equality and others who just use the name to hate on men. I loved how you made the point that feminism is just as important to women as it is to men. I don’t believe feminism is a difficult concept to understand. It’s a movement striving for EQUALITY between both genders. But with the rise of social media, there’s so many misconceptions and things being blow out of proportion, that a lot of people take this movement as a joke. However, the way you explained yourself and your view on feminism is really informative and I hope more and more people speak so openly about this, myself included. Great post Becca 🙂

    Kathlyn | Kathlyn’s Korner

    1. I feel like it’s a difficult concept to understand as it’s been confused & changed over time. Many people don’t believe feminism is about equality because it’s such a broad topic nowadays with so many factors. It should just be stripped down to what it’s meant to be about, equality. Thank you for the feedback X

  9. I’m writing about feminism too, and yes – it is difficult to talk about! But there is SO MUCH to talk about too. We have to remember though what Caitlin Moran says about feminism – that it’s like a quilt – we all piece together our experiences to cover the entire gender and all the types of women that fall under it – black, whites, asian, hispanics, trans, young, old.

  10. Everything about this post is amazing!!! It’s so frustrating to hear people utter the word “feminism” as though it’s a dirty word describing man-haters! Love how this had such a positive message and addressed the fact that gender equality and feminism are one and the same! x

  11. Omg blogs with this title always stress me because I’m scared they’ll be like EW NO BURN THE FEMS n I’ll just end up cryin in a corner somewhere. But this is the best kind of post, I love it!! Spread them feminist vibes gal. Makes me really sad when people judge the whole feminist movement negatively based on 1) one random ‘feminist’ saying she hates men or 2) the fact they say we don’t need it based on women and men in the west being equal. Feminism is a concept and we need it globally- why can’t people see that? Kills me (espesh because I have a feminist blog n spend most of my time deleting comments from the women against feminism tag) xo
    http://halfgirlhalfteacup.com

    1. I’m so glad it positively surprised you!! I’m definitely a feminist and I understand what you mean- there’s SO many misconceptions regarding the movement and it annoys me too! X

  12. It’s brave to talk about feminism because there a powerful wave of hatred towards it. I think this comes down to the women who call themselves feminists but hate men, and (partly fuelled by the man haters, maybe) the men who feel threatened by powerful, successful women and who want a wife who looks after him like she’s his mum!

    My husband is a feminist, as are at least two of my close male friends. We’re fortunate to be in a generation that can see how illogical it was for women to not be allowed to vote, for example. Feminism needs men and women working together to achieve equality for women. It also needs women to respect men, as we expect men to respect us.

  13. I love this post! I would definitely call myself a feminist also, I recently had a Facebook ‘debate’ we will call it with someone who felt Trump’s sexual assault and rape cases weren’t important enough to prevent his presidency 😐

    So glad you posted this without the mention of ‘intersectional’. Now this is simply because I don’t think there should be another word to mean you include everyone! Feminism is about equal rights for all already is it not haha.

    Thanks for posting. I love reading other people’s views on this sort of thing and you did not disappoint! 💗

    http://Www.chronicendeavors.wordpress.com

  14. I agree with you Becca, we need feminism in this world. As you point out, some progress has been made since the feminist mouvement started, over a 100 years ago.

    The western world doesn’t have FGM, which isn a barbaric act brought from the past, still present in many, far too many, countries. This is great for the western world, the more civilized.

    But, even today, there is still so much to be done, even in the western world – albeit less so than middle eastern, or far eastern countries where women and LGBTQ+ persons are in constant danger for their safety and even life. These dangers actually also exist in our western culture, where women rights for their bodies are stolen more than regularly, ex : with penalization of abortions, even in life-threatening conditions, or in case of rape/incest. This isn’t only elsewhere, it’s right in some of our doorsteps. (Ireland comes to mind… Spain taking a step back… trumpian USA trying to join on that trend).

    As for gender equality in jobs: sure, women can take some of the jobs that used to be typically male, which is great, but hides many dark aspects – for instance, calling such women names, shaming them for their choice, or assuming their sexual preference, because, this issue is mixed with LGBTQ and in those cases, the prejudice is compounded.

    Inequality in pay is a fact ; this is one reason why today, and also back in November, there was a movement that women initiated, to stop working at 3:40 PM to show the difference with their male counterparts in the same job, in the same level of seniority where that applies to pay.
    Although there are some more equal job and employers, there are also all those inequalities – but, I understand that this issue is particularly difficult to illustrate and get the statistics for, and that you would chose not to discuss here. It’s totally ok, off course.

    Slut shaming, dress codes, wolf whistling, and many other small and big actions some men make toward women are all part of the same problem : the assumption that women are lesser people, hence they/you deserve less or no respect from males who ”give attention” to ”show appreciation” – well, those are wrong ways to do either of those, and they have to be dealt with. Our society needs to educate men to be more respectful, and to allow women to respond without fear of physical attacks of the men who thus shamed and name-called them as ”hey babe” or ”hey hotty” , and to bring a dialogue and respect.

    Between the lines, I’ll add that you seem to also take the same direction as me : feminism has to be part of humanism. We are all people, first and foremost.

    Ok, you see, I’m getting fired-up every time I talk about feminism, my comment is becoming too big – so I’ll stop after one last bit :
    Never let anyone tell you that we don’t need feminism, or that you are shameful for it. Keep your voice up, shout it loudly, you are a strong woman and do well in being a feminist!

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