If you’re not seeing the words Feminist or Feminism pop up at least 5 times a day somewhere in your life, chances are you’re not on twitter (good life decision if you enjoy your sanity) or you possibly live under a rock.
I’ll admit that before twitter education (yes, education, there’s more to twitter than twerk videos and the daily celebrity dragging) I was naïve in what I understood Feminism to be. The closest I’d gotten to the subject was a rather lacklustre college piece centered around why women deserve to be paid the same as their male counter parts in the work place. Nonetheless I was on the right track, I understood that society had very unfavorable ideas as to what women could and could not do and that something had to give.
I’ve seen a lot of people in very recent times describe Feminism as a sort of futile yet radical movement aimed at simply giving women the permission to ‘free the nipple’. They sometimes describe it as a group of crazy women propelling extremist propaganda which revolves around demonizing the male species. I myself used to think Feminists were simply put ‘very angry women’, and to be honest they should be, look at the world we live in!
For a long time, I was happy to exist in a world where patriarchy ruled even if deep down I knew it wasn’t fair. I was happy to exist in a world where women feeling liberated was frowned upon and women having autonomy over their own bodies, lives and views was unacceptable.
Feminism has however allowed me unlearn a lot if ideas which meant that for a long time I lived happily in a situation where I didn’t feel as though my voice was important or mattered. Feminism has empowered me to view my life, my body and my views as my own- free to do with it as I please.
Feminism has allowed me to enjoy sex becauseI understand that I am a sexual being, I do not belong to my father or my future husband. I’m not on earth to ‘preserve’ myself whilst said future hubby is allowed to explore his sexual freedom. Oh no, I’m backing that thing up if I so choose, with or without your ‘respect’. There is no shame in standing tall in my sexual decisions or what I choose to do or in fact not to do with my own body.
Feminism has allowed me to unravel some of the sexist language which has for centuries been used to silence abused women and plunge them into a pool of shame so deep abusers have power to abuse. I now understand that when society labels a woman as a ‘slut’ ‘whore’ or ‘loose’ it is easier for an abuser or rapist to be excused because -oh well she deserves it or my favourite ‘she was asking for it.’
Feminism has taught me that being a woman is not synonymous with being emotional, erratic or incapable of making major decisions. Men are not the more discerning sex as this sexist society would lead you to believe. In the work place Feminism has given me the courage to be more assertive without the fear of being called a bitch or bossy or a bossy bitch. I deserve to be treated equally and given the same respect as the men I work with.
Feminism has lessened the anxiety of not being married- and how ridiculous it is that the phrase ‘nobody will marry you’ used to be an insult. The idea that being a ‘Mrs’ is the highest achievement in life no longer rings true to my ears. I’m grateful to Feminism for the empowerment which allows me to feel whole as a woman, and not just as an accessory to a man.
The battle for the social, political and economic equality of the sexes is one that threatens to wage on until the end of time. In the meantime, I’m excited to continue to unlearn ideas that have been drummed into my head for over 20 years. Feminists aren’t a group of whiny, moany and bitter women, and a lot of the time you have to question why Feminist ideas are so violently opposed.
There is absolutely nothing to lose in delving deep into the subject of Feminism and absolutely an abundance to learn and ultimately unlearn~ Namaste.