Would You Dare Call Yourself a Feminist?

Feminism is on the up rise, right? It’s constantly changing and developing, with women being given more opportunities compared to like the 1800s right? With the #metoo movement in Hollywood alongside recent gender equality laws and a general awareness of the sexism that takes place in our world, there is new wave of Feminism in the 21st Century. And it’s strong. But does all of this filter through into everyday life? I remember so clearly being in Sixth Form, talking with a bunch of girls and guys about the big F word and hardly anyone would admit to being a Feminist. It still kinda aggravates me now. One guy says he’s not a Feminist and a bunch of girls agreed with him. I immediately stopped fancying him after that. How could a woman say she isn’t a Feminist? I mean, if it wasn’t for Feminism, she wouldn’t be in school right now, she’d probably be sewing whilst her forty year old husband told her what to cook him for dinner. Okay. Maybe that’s a little extreme but you get my point. 

Though why is it so hard for people to admit they’re a Feminist? I mean when I ask my dad or my brother about it, they say “oh yeah, no we fully believe in women’s rights but we would never call ourselves a Feminist”. But that’s what a Feminist is. Just believing that men and women are equal. Whenever I try to talk about women’s rights, my brother sometimes jokes that I am an extreme Feminist. Yes. He’s joking but it annoys me all the same. Because whenever women try to stand up for themselves, men will write it off as us being over emotional and over hysterical because they don’t want to take us seriously. It’s kinda like when white people claim ‘racism’ because Disney cast a black actress for the new live-action Little Mermaid movie. Men are threatened because what women are saying is true, but some of them don’t want to admit it because it scares them. They’re scared because they know if they agree, their reign as top dog stops and they have to move over to let women in. Power doesn’t feel so good when you have to share it. Now I don’t want to categorize all men into this, because I know not all men are like this. Some of them completely happy to admit they’re a Feminism with no shame at all (@Tom Hiddleston, we love you). But I guess the final aim is to get all men on board with this mind set. Because a man saying he’s a Feminist isn’t weak or unmanly but actually what women want. Believe it or not but Feminists don’t hate men, and we’re not plotting their destruction so that they become outcasts of society and get a taste of their own medicine…

There’s definitely correct and incorrect forms of Feminism isn’t there? I saw this post on Facebook, from a woman I might add, that basically showed two forms of Feminism. On one side of the post there was a smart woman, dressed in glasses and wearing a suit working hard at her business job. It was titled ‘THIS IS FEMINISM’. On the other, there was a group of women advocating for ‘free the nipple’ and so were walking the streets topless, they seemed to be a lot “angrier”. It was titled ‘THIS IS NOT FEMINISM’. Trust, the internalized misogyny made me want to throw my phone across the room. I mean it’s like I post pictures of myself in bikini on my Instagram mainly because I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I’m happy with my body and I feel women should be proud to show it off. And that doesn’t need be sexual or anything. Just a picture. My dad, who’s a media lawyer, tells me it’s not appropriate especially if I want a career in the acting world because people will pick on those pictures and degrade them in every way possible. I know throughout this article I may be not painting the best picture of my dad, but he is a good guy and he just wants to protect me as most dads do. I mean it’s his job. He knows how horrible the media can be. But my brother posts pictures in his swim shorts, so why isn’t he getting the same treatment? Guys can walk around with their top off all the time but would they get called a slut or get sexually assaulted because they were ‘asking for it’? It’s honestly amazing how many guys private message me after I post these bikini pictures, some of them just an innocent hello, others slightly more creepy, but nevertheless they still see it as an invitation. For any guys reading this: GIRLS DO NOT PUT BIKINI PICTURES UP FOR YOU! Mostly we do it for ourselves, because it does take a lot of confidence considering how much we are bombarded with photos of what the ideal beauty standards are. 

I guess it all comes back to that Facebook post. Women who are ‘real Feminists’ cover up and wear business suits. But women who have their skin on show couldn’t possibly be as they’re just wanting male attention. I would like to point out that a woman’s nipple and a man’s nipple are. Exactly. The. Same. So why should women be forced to hide it? If you’re a true Feminist, you wouldn’t bring other women down because of the way in which the male perspective has run deep throughout society and sadly seeped into what Feminism should and shouldn’t be. Feminism is equality of the sexes in politics, economics and society. Feminism should not be defined by how much clothes a woman is wearing or not wearing. Women should be equally free as men are to be as dressed or naked as they like without being shamed by society. Next time you see a woman in a bikini, be it on Instagram or in real life and you hear the word slut or whore creeping in, think if you would use that same word for man with his shirt off, and see if you can still call yourself a Feminist. 

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