Why We Need to Talk About Feminism

Friday, 3 February 2017

If you guys follow me on Twitter you will see that I put a poll on to ask how comfortable people felt calling themselves feminists. Recently, I attended a Women in Leadership conference at my university and it really got me thinking about how I feel about feminism.  

It's important to open up the conversation. Everyone can be a feminist, and proud.

I wrote a post way, way back about how feminism shouldn’t be a dirty word and I still stand by what I said, although my outlook has slightly changed.

One thing that struck me in the conference was the historical stigma that surrounds the term ‘feminist’. A lot of the women that attended felt that the connotations were normally negative, and felt they wouldn't be taken seriously if they defined themselves as a feminist. 

Personally, I have no issue in identifying myself as a feminist (gosh I feel like I've said that word a million times). For me, feminism is simply believing in the equality of the sexes, it’s an all-inclusive feminism rather than for small demographic who have typically ‘radical’ views.

Alike my favourite feminist, writer and all-round boss Chimimanda Ngozie Adichie, my feminism comes from the belief of the social, political and economical equality of the sexes. 

We need to open these conversations, not just with our fellow sassy female friends but the wider community. I recently had a real good natter with a male friend of mine (shoutout to Aaron if you're reading) and it was really promising and encouraging that he engaged in the conversation with me about feminism. 

Personally, I think it’s important that we take ownership on the term feminism, during these turbulent times. I believe that we can mould and adapt feminism into what we want it to look like. Feminism for me, is empowering other women. I think as women we are too hard on not only ourselves, but other women too. We need to stop that. 

I’d like to live in a world, where if a women is doing something you think is cool and inspiring - tell them, let them know. Compliment each other. Build each other up. It’s important more now than ever to spread love and kindness to one another.

I believe we have evolved from the original concept of feminism - which is often misconstrued by not only women but men too. Standing for feminism is saying “hey, I believe I should be paid as much as my male counter part because I’m as awesome as him!”. We need to let feminism grow with us, and the society we live in.

I'm a feminist because in 2017 there should be no gender pay gap.

I'm a feminist because I shouldn't be forced to wear certain clothes to my workplace.

I'm a feminist because in 2017, I shouldn't be hearing misogynist rhetoric coming from the leader of the free world.

It’s gonna be tough guys. The next four years more than ever, but don’t lose hope. 

However, if you are after an educated chuckle, I recently discovered the podcast hosted by comedian Deborah Frances-White called The Guilty Feminist, and I fricking love it. If you shy away from the world, and feel like you can’t define yourself as a feminist then give this a listen. It’s funny, yet insightful and empowering. Let’s be proud to stand up and say “yes I’m a female, and I love it.” They cover all kinds of topics in a light-hearted way, which is nice as conversations surrounding equality can be a little dry. 

The world is going through scary times, so love and be loved. Share happiness. Share the light. Be kind. Be mindful. 

Thanks for reading pals, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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