I am not an easily angered woman and would like to believe that I am open to the thousands of conflicting views that make up this world, but there is one phrase that riles me to my very core; ‘I hate feminists’. The worst thing about hearing this phrase is it more often than not coming from the mouths of young, educated women. I have heard it casually thrown around in the corridors of universities and the work place as though this is the new ‘cool’ thing to say. Do these young women not understand that without feminism they wouldn’t even be walking them university halls?! That without feminists they wouldn’t have the option of informing their colleagues of this absurdity and would instead be locked away in the confines of the domestic sphere?!
The aloofness of which this phrase is thrown around by our women has led me to the worrying conclusion that we are not being educated enough in what feminism means today. The medias negative portrayal of feminists as unwashed, bra burning, men-hating hippies has become far to embedded into our society, so much so it is making us take a step backwards in the fight for equality rather than forward. People need to understand that a feminist is the woman who works her way to the very top of the career ladder despite all the obstacles standing in her way, it is the woman who chooses that motherhood isn’t for her despite the social pressure or the woman who chooses to keep her own name after marriage. Feminism is about having choice, having options, having freedom! It is this message that we need to get out there, how can we fight for our equality when we are fighting against each other?!
Women have sacrificed as much as their lives to get us where we are now so shouldn’t we all be grateful to them and not be turning against them? Hating feminism doesn’t make you cool or unique; it makes you ignorant to how much feminism impacts on your everyday life. Not only do we need to be teaching young girls and women this we also need to be teaching them that the fight isn’t over yet! There is still a huge margin between the wages of men verses the wages of women and a serious lack of women as CEO’s. There is still the negative image as a woman as a ‘slut’ or a ‘whore’ if a woman decides to explore her sexuality with various partners in the same way men are glorified for doing so. This needs to change but we all need to be united in making this change.
Not only do we need our young women to understand what feminism means today, we also need them to understand why it’s so important to respect ourselves and female peers. How can we fight for equality when we are too busy fighting each other? The sad truth is that not only do many females claim to hate feminists they have a general hatred for each other, many of us allow jealousy to cloud our judgment and push those of the same sex away. We screw each other over to win the affections of a man takes pleasure in watching the battle. The odds are already against us, why must we make them worse?
We are all guilty in some way of letting our fellow women down but it’s not too late to change! The next time you see a pretty woman, don’t envy her but instead try to think of a compliment you would like to give her. Instead of thinking the cliché ‘What is she wearing’ admire the woman’s boldness and uniqueness. When we can start making these small changes to reunite us and educating our young women in what feminism really means then we can once again commence our quest to be equals to our men.