Why Feminism is important to me
CN: Rape, slut-shaming and abuse are some of the topics discussed but not in great detail
The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
I may have mentioned it once or twice, but never really gone into much about why I’m a feminist and why it’s important to me. People often tend to see the topic as ‘taboo’ or really misinterpret what feminism is about. It is not something in which women are “man haters” or feel that the female gender is superior to the male. The female gender has been oppressed for as long as history can remember. Of course, not everyone is aware of the history and often tend to base it on “well, I don’t feel oppressed, my life is great,” or ” I treat women with respect, therefore there is equality,” which is rather closed minded. I can straight away admit that growing up in my life, it was a close-knit family and there was indeed a lot of respect for all genders. However, it’s when I began to finally socialise more, make friends out of my small, caucasian-based community that I began to really see the difference. In the last few years, I’ve made friends from pretty much every walk of life. Non-binary genders, LGBTQA+ community, different races, religions, rich, poor, famous, nobodies and you really begin to learn.
Feminism explained (in some cute bar graphs) pic.twitter.com/GK9IVab8Tf
— Feminism Matters™ (@WeNeedFeminlsm) 24 June 2016
Feminism is important to me. Feminism is important to me because there are so many consequences of being a female. Even if up in my life until I finally stepped foot out into the world I felt extremely privileged, you wake up and see reality. Feminism is important to me because when I or my female friends or family go out, we are told “to be careful” and “don’t walk alone” because there is a fear of being raped. Feminism is important to me because we as a society are teaching women to change how we dress instead of teaching men to not rape. Because approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year, meaning there’s roughly 11 rapes (of adults alone) every hour. These figures include assaults by penetration and attempts. And usually, there is very much a lot of victim blaming.
Feminism is important to me because a woman’s appearance is still very much under the microscope. From clothing to make-up and everything in between. A woman is very much judged, no matter what she wears. For some reason, people think that a woman’s clothing dictates who she is as a person.
Feminism is important to me because slut shaming exists. Because a man sleeping around is considered a ‘legend’ but if a woman were to do the same thing, she’d be looked down upon.
Feminism is important to me because this is what happens when a woman agrees with a man’s compliment towards her:
Why can’t girls be confident in themselves? pic.twitter.com/wNFV4YnfdN
— Feminist (@ltsFeminism) 18 December 2016
Feminism is important to me because if a women were to get accidentally pregnant, in many countries it is illegal to have an abortion Places such as South America, Africa, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Malta, the Caribbean, Poland, South Korea, Thailand and many more either ban abortion completely or it is only legally permitted to save a woman’s life or protect her physical health.
Feminism is important to me because of fragile masculinity. Because men are meant to men seen as “macho” and not show any emotion.
things men should never have to hear pic.twitter.com/tdWFxX9Tgc
— Feminist (@ltsFeminism) 20 December 2016
Feminism is important to me because my friends and family in America now have Donald Trump as their president elect, who says it’s okay to “grab women by the pussy” or give outrageous quotes such as “it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.” Where there are at least 11 women who have claimed he has raped them – including a 13-year-old and his ex wife, yet it is still okay for him to be trusted to run a country and become a world leader.
Feminism is important to me because “like a girl” is very much still used as an insult. Where people believe running, pushing, fighting and acting like a girl is shown as weak, submissive and incapable.
Feminism is important to me because society has decided to gender colours and toys. That a boy should be playing with action figures and footballs while girls should play with dolls and pretend house supplies and boys should be into the colours blue and green whereas girls should be attracted to pink and purple and it is considered “abnormal” for them to show interest in the opposites.
Feminism is important to me because society teaches girls that if a boy harrasses you, kicks you, pinches you, punches you, pokes you, it’s “because he likes you.” Because it is taught that if a man were to follow or force kiss a woman even after she said “no”, it’s romantic, instead of breaking consent. Actions such as these are widely approved my forms of media such as books or films or TV shows.
Feminism is important to me because many fairy tales often give story morals that for a female to ‘live happily ever after’ she must find a man and marry him.
Feminism is important to me because 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. Because if a woman is in a violent and abusive relationship, more often than not people ask “Why did she stay?” instead of, “Why did he abuse?”
Feminism is important to me because people say things to people, including my friends, like “you’re too pretty to be gay.” Because people tend to compliment women on their appearance, rather than their work ethic.
Feminism is important to me because 2% of international development funds are specifically allocated to girls. 70 million girls between the ages of 6 and 12 do not attend school. There are 33,000,000 fewer girls than boys in primary education. Girls with secondary education are 6 times less likely to be married as children. A girl with 7 years of schooling in the developing world will have 2.2 fewer children. Two thirds of the 775,000,000 illiterate adults, and 63% of illiterate youth, are female. Literate mothers are twice as likely to immunize their children and send them to school. A girl who completes basic education is 3 times less likely to contract HIV. A girl earns 20% more as an adult for every additional year of education she receives. A nation’s GDP rises an average of 3% when 10% more of its girls attend school. School is not free in over 50 countries.
Feminism is important to me because this is what Calvin Klein considers to be plus sized. And they’re not the only ones.
Feminism is important to me because it is so frowned upon for women to have bodily hair that women’s shaving adverts shave bald legs. Shaving is a personal preference. I choose to do it (mainly because I like the feel of my legs) but if I or any woman doesn’t get around to doing it for whatever reason, people judge her for her natural body hair; legs, arms, facial hair, whatever.
Feminism is important to me because of child marriage existing.
Feminism is important to me because the gender pay gap very much does exist.
Feminism is important to me because of representation of colour. Because the ideology of beauty is blonde caucasians. Because women of colour are even less privileged than white women. And it is intersectional feminism that is important. Because in the U.S a black woman makes only 64 cents to a white man’s dollar.
Because whitewashing is actually a thing.
Feminism is important to me because male artists such as One Direction, Justin Timberlake and the like are applauded for being sexy when shirtless, but women such as Little Mix, Fifth Harmony and Ariana Grande are slut-shamed for wearing clothing that isn’t modest enough.
Feminism is important to me because there are actually pointlessly gendered items. Because apparently, the sex between my legs and the gender I define myself as means I have to use a different razor colour, different scented toiletries and tea.
Feminism is important to me because of the gender tax, where a woman’s product which is the exact same as a man’s costs more.
Feminism is important to me because of categorisation being a thing.
Feminism is important to me because the female breast is so sexualised that people look down on breastfeeding in public. Feeding a newborn. One of the most natural things to exist.
Feminism is important to me because people are scared to call it feminism. “I’m not a feminist, I support gender equality.” Guess what? THAT is what feminism is. Are you afraid because it contains part of the word “female”?
I could go on forever, but I think you get the picture. If you’re interested, though, I feel this Tumblr blog has more reasons as to why I (along with millions of others) are feminists. This Twitter account is also pretty awesome.
People are afraid of activism such as being feminist. We should not be afraid. We have rights and we are allowed to fight for them. It’s okay to consider yourself a feminist and it’s okay to know your rights and fight for them. I’m not saying you need to go to protests. I’m not asking you to hate on men. But the act of feminism can be practised in millions of way in life. Big or small, every act is important and valid. From teaching your daughters that acting “like a girl” is okay and not at all a sign of weakness to teaching your sons that rape is not okay. From signing petitions to just discussing with friends. We should not be afraid to know our rights. We should not be afraid of demanding and fighting for them. We should not be afraid of being equal.
I hope this post gave you an insight as to why feminism is important to me and hopefully helped you realise that it’s definitely an important form of activism and not “male bashing”. I love men. I have great male friends. But I also have great female friends and they deserve the same equality as the guys.
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