Why I Am A Feminist: Update
For those of you that have followed me for a while, you might recall that I wrote a blog post on Why I Am A Feminist back in the day. But I feel, that although the post is still incredibly relevant, both myself and the world have changed since it was published and so I feel an update is necessary. This is because in that year (or whatever time frame it is) I have educated myself so much more about feminism; different types, different movements, different public figures, different perspectives. And I really wanted to share it with you because I really feel feminism is something everyone should identify with. To be honest, I can’t see why you shouldn’t. Equality of the sexes surely is a concept everyone can get behind right?
First up, intersectionality is the only way to be…
This means that feminism is about everyone. Too often people who are “feminists” fail to rally/relate/speak up when the issue at hand is about People of Colour, or transgenders. Their feminism is “white feminism” or that they only really care if it affects them outright.
I have privilege and I am so aware of that. I am a white woman living in the United Kingdom, I go to university, have a roof over my head and food on the table. As much as I experience some of the struggles faced by women everywhere, I in no way restrict my feminism to those struggles. My feminism isn’t perfect, but what is? I’m still learning.
And as they say, if your feminism isn’t intersectional, your feminism ain’t s**t.
Feminism is needed everywhere…
I heard a lot, particularly during the time a certain President *insert Satan* of the United States, about how Western women, particularly white Western women, have it easy/lucky. And yes why in many cases this is the truth, we still need feminism!
I think a lot of females can relate when I say the sexualisation of women is everywhere. I honestly don’t think I have ever been on a night out clubbing when some guy (who in most cases I haven’t even made eye contact with until that point) decides that the best way to get my attention/get past/talk to his mate is to squeeze my arse, usually followed with some creepy smile and laugh. Feminism because this is not appropriate. I don’t want to be subjected to this and I doubt a lot of people will disagree with me here. And the worst part is, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2015/2016 approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 rapes (of adults alone) every hour. These figures include assaults by penetration and attempts and with only 15% of people actually choosing to report the assaults to the police, the chances are these numbers are a lot higher.
We need feminism because sexual assault is NEVER okay. Like Ever. We need feminism because consent needs to be included in sex education lessons. We need feminism because a third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped (Amnesty, 2005) and that is just not okay.
The conversation on feminism goes so much further than sexual assault and sexualisation. It covers everything from the social standards enforced on beauty and fashion to the need for equal rights to education all across the world. It’s about political, social and economic of all genders and sexes. That means equal rights and representation of trans and gender non-conforming people.
Feminism is about support…
I mean it both in a literal sense and a metaphorical one. The amount of times I will be scrolling through social media and I’ll see a post putting other people down is unbelievable. I say so often, lighting someone else’s candle won’t dim yours. If I praise another individual for ANYTHING it doesn’t mean that I am any less good at that certain thing. It just means I understand and appreciate someone else. There needs to be more people out there praising others or supporting others without fear of detriment to themselves.
I work in a business filled with empowering women and you know what makes them even better?
The fact that every other person in this business is grateful. Grateful for success of themselves, and grateful for the success of others. The whole business is about building up others to achieve success. There’s no putting people down to climb to the top, the only way you can is to bring others with you. And honestly I can’t think of anything more incredible than that.
To put it plainly, feminism is about supporting and promoting the basic human rights and need for equality of everyone. That means human rights and equality for all genders, people of colour, all religions, the employed and unemployed, children, adults, the lot!
Before you say it, men should be feminists too…
And I will tell you why. Number 1, you like equality too. And if you don’t, well, that’s just not okay. Number 2, there are so many ways in which feminism is for men too.