Monday, 6 June 2016

Why Feminism Still Needs To Exist

 Feminism. What a word, eh?

There's the whole on-going debate about whether it actually means equality, given that it is called feminism after all. Well my answer to that, is yes, of course it means equality.

I watched a video on Hannah Witton's Youtube channel a while ago in which she brought up the perfect point about the struggle women had to endure in the past. There's no denying it, whether you're a feminist or not, whatever your gender, that historically women were significantly viewed as the inferior gender in the majority of contexts. Hannah said that the word Feminism acknowledges that struggle, so that it is not forgotten. It doesn't change anything about the modern day fight for equality, it just acknowledges the past. Because without groups like the Suffragettes, who knows how little we would have progressed?

I am a Feminist. I will proudly exclaim that to anybody. I used to be a bit reserved about the whole thing, and wouldn't really mention it, but now my friends and I will happily have discussions about the topic, especially now that I'm doing my Sixth Form Extended Project on Feminism. Feminists can get a lot of criticism, which is what discourages so many people from openly calling themselves a feminist. But this is all based on stereotypes, and ones which are so often just unfair and unjustifiable.
I believe in equality. Of all the genders. Not just women. Otherwise I wouldn't be a feminist. I would be a sexist.

Feminism does not just tackle women's issues. It tackles the issues of all the genders, and the common misconception is that it doesn't. I have personally seen a lot of people online who 'like' and comment sarcastic things on online posts which mock feminism. They like to use extreme feminists as an excuse as to why they think feminism is bad. I've seen feminism be referred to as 'cancerous' 'cruel' and even compared to the Nazi regime. They use the minority as an excuse to criticize the majority and make them feel unworthy.
Here's my thinking: You know all those people who call themselves feminists, but actually just dislike the male gender and want women to be superior...they are not feminists, because their views are sexist. Sexism is not just a thing that men can be towards women. Sexism refers to discriminating any gender. Telling a woman to "be more ladylike" is just as sexist as telling a man to "man up", and this is what feminists believe and understand.

There has also been a lot of thought about changing the name. I was for this for a while, but now I don't think I am. Men may feel excluded by the word, but all that would have to be done was to understand the definition and then they should feel included - because they most certainly are. Anybody is welcome to call themselves a feminist. Why are we, as a society allowing a simple word to be a barrier to our morals? Surely we can be stronger than to let it obstruct our movement into achieving gender equality? Perhaps people object to the word not because they think it is only a movement for women, but because they don't want to be associated with such a feminine word? If this is the case, then we are clearly nowhere near being equal.
We shouldn't need to change the word, because we should have a society in which we are strong enough to see that there are problems. We should be able to identify the problems and overcome them, without letting one word or the opinions of others stop us from doing so.

Although some people may hate to admit it, we still need Feminism.

*Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are completely my own. This was not meant to offend and if I have done so then I sincerely apologize. It can be very difficult to express meaning in writing because of course there's no tone of voice, so if anything came across rudely, offensively, or abruptly, then I really didn't intend for this. I wrote this with the hope that my views would be expressed in a polite manner, which I hope I have done. Of course, also I was not criticizing anyone who does not share the same views as me. I respect all opinions and thoroughly enjoy hearing them. Thank you so much for reading this and continuing until the end. I would love to hear any opinions that you have. Thank you*