Hey guys, this is a post by Debbie from Brewing Colour. She’s a feminist who contacted me to write a guest post on feminism *obv tho*. But enough talking, Ally! May I present *drumroll please* Debbie!
Like Ally, I’m a feminist, and although I don’t necessarily agree with all of her views, I do agree on how the term has been distorted in modern day society.
Feminism slowly has been equated, by some, to man-hating, women having power over men, et cetera, et cetera, in fact, I know some girls/women who would adamantly refuse that they believe or support any kind of feminist movement. Equality, of course they believe in, but feminism? Not so much.
It’s strange when you think about it, especially since the Oxford Dictionary’s definition is ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’ Essentially, if we go by definition, feminism is equality, brought about by helping and supporting women, as they’re seen as lesser in society.
However, I can easily see why this definition of feminism is easily distorted. During events such as Women’s March, which takes place in January every year, images of women attending the events flood social media, with signs and T-shirts it looks like a call to arms. Also, with movements such as #MeToo, women share their stories about assault, so I can partly understand why people may think feminists don’t like men too much.
A way feminism has definitely been distorted, in my opinion, is women attacking women over their actions, or inactions, in the name of feminism (now I’m not saying men don’t do this but it is less common). Celebrities, such as Taylor Swift, have been attacked for not speaking up constantly, as people forget that just because someone’s a feminist it doesn’t mean they have to champion it all the time. As Emma Watson, the actor and U.N Women Goodwill Ambassador, stated: ‘If you stand for equality, then you’re a feminist.’ which is a concept many seem to ignore.
There’s also been incidences where celebrities have misused the term and used it to their advantage, Kim Kardashian being a big culprit here. Back in 2016 (it feels like ages ago I know) she tweeted a nude selfie and called it #liberated; since when feminism became an excuse for exhibitionism? I’m not sure either. But with this we find a double-edged sword, if we let Kim K, amongst others, to call this feminism then we’re portraying an incorrect image of what many stand for, but if we then attack her, it’ll give the idea that again, feminism is women shaming each other and men, letting it seem like a negative movement rather than a positive one.
So what can we do? A pretty good question I’d say, but whether you identify with the feminist movement or not, we all need to stand for equality. We need to stop attacking others and instead educate them, as how do we expect them to correct their faults otherwise. I’m not saying to tweet Kim K with a politics lesson, but try to make sure you yourself understand terms and speech before you use or reject it yourself, and if you think the others around you aren’t saying or doing things you think to be right, try to give them a gentle nudge in the right direction. But we also need to remember that feminism is such a diverse movement. Women within it come from such diverse backgrounds and along with them, different opinions, and that’s okay too.
Anyway, what do you think? Is feminism a dying movement used for the wrong reasons? Or potentially one that could change everything?