Friday, 16 January 2015

Why is feminism a dirty word?

The word feminism has become a phrase for many to sneer at, to mock and to vehemently deny any relationship with. Many saw 2014 as the year that feminists ‘fought back’ – the reawakening of the feminism movement. But if so, why has it become a dirty word?
It goes much deeper than claims such as men are ‘scared’ or ‘can’t cope with empowered women’ because there are many females out there who are unwilling to attach themselves to the word too. Thanks to Emma Watson, there has been a significant rise in the amount of men calling themselves feminists – so what is standing in our way of becoming a society where gender equality is a given?

Recently, Buzzfeed published an article regarding an ‘anti-feminist’ political party, who will be running in the general election in May. Upon reading the article, it literally blew my mind at how insanely ignorant Mike Buchanan must be of the discriminative problems that face women in today’s society. He inaccurately describes feminism as ‘a hatred, and it should be a badge of shame. To call yourself a feminist should be no more acceptable than calling yourself a bigot or a sexist. It a deeply vile, corrupting ideology.
He speaks of misogyny being ‘very rare’ which is funny, because there a number of examples from even the past week which could prove that statement to be questionable. Ken Morley, former Coronation Street star, was removed from the Celebrity Big Brother house last week for repeated sexist(and racist) language. He was particularly vile towards the two youngest girls in the house, spouting crude and inappropriate comments throughout his appearance on the show. You know you’ve hit rock bottom when even Big Brother don’t you want you on their show.
Another example was in relation to tweets I received from a delightful gentleman yesterday. Whilst watching last night’s BBC Question Time, I tweeted about David Starkey’s horrendous views regarding Islam and received this: ‘He’s got a PhD from Cambridge. Suspect he’s more educated than some slapper on twitter’. He then proceeded to tell me how ignorant I was and even ended his charming messages by calling me an irrelevant retard. Comments like that seem to be made in abundance when a female dares to talk about politics, current affairs or anything else that involves stepping out of the kitchen.
Being against feminism doesn’t make you cool. Being against feminism means you are against gender equality. It means you aren’t that fussed about equal pay rights for women and men, and hey, who cares that however successful or skilful a woman is, the only aspect the media will be concentrating on is what she’s wearing and how high her hemline is?
Magazines and newspapers seem to be particularly proud of themselves for recognising Amal Clooney’s incredible career and important occupation by being SO totally quirky, and writing headlines such as ‘Human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin marries actor.’ Omg you guys, that is just so totally amaze.
Or maybe, it just signifies the extent to which we focus on male’s achievements and careers and lives?
Feminism shouldn’t be a dirty word which people are embarrassed to be associated with; neither should it be associated with hatred of males. It’s a word that should make people stand tall and be proud of. A word which empowers every single one of us.
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